It’s almost always a good idea to brine pork. Brining makes it flavorful and keeps it juicy. This particular recipe is distinguished by its use of garlic and rosemary, but you can flavor it with almost anything. The amount of brine below is ideal for up to 4 pounds of pork.–Thomas Keller
LC Just Do As The Man Says Note
It may seem sorta silly to heat the brine for just a minute, as the recipe below stipulates, but chef Thomas Keller knows what he’s doing. Not only does the heat facilitate the dissolving of the salt and honey, it draws out the essential oils of the herbs, which, in turn, equates to flavor. Lots of flavor. And not flavor in an overwhelming way. Just in a nicely complementary way. You know how back in the day when gentlemen would walk down the street and, when they encountered an acquaintance, they’d offer one another a slight head bow and lift of the hat as they said “Good day”? That’s how nicely and politely the flavors play with one another. Anyways, we diverge. Just do as the man says.
Pork Brine Recipe
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes, not including cooling and chilling | Makes 2 quarts
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 12 bay leaves
- 3 large rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup garlic cloves, crushed, skin left on
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 cup (5 ounces) kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
- 8 cups water
- 1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Heat for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt.
- 2. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Chill before using.
- The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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Pork Brine Recipe © 2009 Thomas Keller. All rights reserved.