Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The tenderest Pork Loin on Christmas Day

What a great Christmas. Besides spending the week with my awesome inlaws, I also spent the week eating awesome food and trying my darnedest not to feel guilty that I wasn't doing any exercise to counteract all those calories.

Well, if I gained a few pounds, it was worth it.

On Christmas Eve, we feasted on a delicious ham, Funeral Potatoes (we were in Idaho Falls, after all) and plenty of trimmings including Seafoam Salad. Then we got spoiled all over again the next day with the above pictured Pork Loin that Greg woke up at 5 a.m. to make for us.

It was unbelievably tender for pork, and plenty flavorful despite its few ingredients.

Greg's Pork Loin
2 gallons water
2 c. plus 1 T. salt
3 t. coarsely ground pepper, divided
4 garlic cloves, divided
7-pound pork loin (with bones and tied with twine)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Make a brine with the water, 2 c. salt, 2 t. coarsely ground pepper and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Place the pork loin in the brine, completely submerged, and refrigerate for 5 to 5-1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare a barbecue that's large enough to accommodate the entire pork loin. Create a rub with the olive oil, remaining 1 T. salt, 1 t. ground pepper and 2 minced garlic cloves. Discard the brine and pat the pork dry, then rub the olive oil mixture evenly over the pork.

Cook the pork on the barbecue until all sides are nicely browned, then place the pork in a roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers at 155 degrees. We had some trouble browning the meat because it was so darn cold in Idaho, so the timing here could vary, but altogether it will likely take 2-1/2 to 4 hours.

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