Grilled Brined Pork Loin
This pork loin is brined for 8 hours in sugar/salt liquid seasoned with orange zest, thyme, and peppercorns. The lean meat is extra juicy as a result. The original recipe in Martha Stewart Living suggests grilling the pork in a charcoal grill and turning the meat every 6 minutes. We had a little trouble turning the meat as often on our gas grill because the fatty side of the meat caught on fire! 🙂 It still cooked perfectly. We ate it with roasted CSA fennel and potatoes, as well as steamed green beans with butter and parsley. Lovely and simple.
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 cups ice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 1/2 orange, zest removed in strips and fruit reserved for garnish
- 12 whole peppercorns, plus freshly ground pepper
- 1 boneless pork loin (2 pounds)
- Coarse grain mustard, for serving
- Prep: Bring water, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a large pot, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat. Add ice, bay leaf, thyme, orange zest, and peppercorns, and let cool completely. Place pork in a nonreactive dish, and completely cover with brine. Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove pork from brine, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill: Heat grill to medium. Grill pork, covered with vent open, turning every 6 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees, about 32 minutes. (Pork will continue to cook to proper doneness as it rests.) Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest 15 minutes. Slice pork, and squeeze orange over slices. Serve with mustard.