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Sunday, January 18, 2009

bacon wrapped maple pork loin

bacon wrapped maple pork loin

First, an apology/excuse... I've been (and still am) traveling to Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a work trip. As with all other work trips, I cooked up a storm before leaving (both so A would not starve in my absence, and also so I'd have some photos and recipes to blog about when I'm up at 4am with jet lag and nothing to occupy my time but the indiscernible plotlines of Bollywood movies). But this trip, I've just been so busy, and more homesick than usual, so I've been avoiding the pictures of familiar comforting foods. Without further procrastination, here is an amazing recipe I found on Epicurious for a roasted pork loin. It is certainly not meant to be cooked, portioned and then frozen, but I'm happy to report that this is what I had to do out of necessity, and A has informed me it worked perfectly well. Note that you'll need between 8 and 24 hours to brine the pork before roasting it.

Grocery list: (for the brine) 1/3 cup kosher salt, 2 T maple syrup, black peppercorns, 2 sprigs fresh sage, garlic, 1 bay leaf, 3-4 pound boneless pork loin roast; (for the roast) 3 garlic cloves, 2 T finely chopped fresh sage, 3 T maple syrup, bacon slices, 1 T cider vinegar.

brine for maple pork

To make the brine, combine the salt with 8 cups of water, a smashed garlic clove, a couple sprigs fresh sage, a bay leaf, 1 T of syrup, and a large pinch of black peppercorns. The original says to heat this all in a saucepan over the stove, but to save some of the dishwashing, I placed this in the bowl I normally use to brine things (meaning, a big one), and heated it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for an hour.

pork loin in brine

Submerge the pork loin in the bowl, and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 24.

maple sage garlic paste for pork roast

When it's time to roast the pork, remove it from the brine and pat it dry. Make a paste of 3 minced garlic cloves, the sage, and 1 T of the syrup.

pork loin with sage maple paste

Rub this over the top and sides of the pork.

bacon wrapped around pork loin

Lay strips of bacon across the pork to cover the top - the original calls for 16 slices but I only needed to use 6. Tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the pork. Roast at 350 degrees on the center rack of the oven until the pork is 140 degrees (this took a little over an hour).

maple cider vinegar glaze

Make the glaze by mixing the remaining syrup with the cider vinegar, then brush this over the pork. Return to the oven and continue to roast until the internal temperature of the pork is 150 degrees (this was about 15 more minutes for me).

bacon wrapped pork loin 2

When the roast is done, remove from the oven but leave it resting in the pan for about 15 minutes. This will allow the pork to reabsorb some of its juices. The original recipe provides instruction for cooking up a simple au jus from the pan juices mixed with more syrup and cornstarch, but I decided to skip this. If you end up trying it, let me know how it turns out. Slice the roast on the diagonal to serve.

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