Got a 2 lb pork loin from the Rosenthal Meat Center last week and thawed it over the weekend in the fridge. Decided to brine it before cooking sous vide, loosely based on this maple-brined pork roast recipe.
- 1qt water
- .25 c salt
- .25 c maple syrup
- garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme
The roast barely fit in the stainless bowl I used. Into the fridge at 9:15 AM. The recipe says to brine for 8-10 hours, but other sources suggest 8 hours max and 30 min minimum.
Recommended cooking times and temperatures vary a lot online:
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The Sous Vide Supreme and Anova numbers may have come from Douglas Baldwin’s pulled pork recipe, which would be more well done than I would aim for here. The rub used at Modernist Cuisine for finishing also looks interesting.
After working on an NIH grant, I put the meat in the Sous Vide which the Nomiku had been preheating at 138F at around 2:30. So the brining ended up being for a bit over 6 hours, which is a bit longer than I had planned (thanks to the joy of tweaking EndNote references). Went to lab while it cooked.
Coffee and chocolate spice rub
- powdered hot chocolate
- instant coffee
- chili powder
Pulled the pork from the water bath at ~7:30PM for an overall cook time of 5 hours. Checked the internal temp with my Thermapen; as expected, thermal equilibrium had been reached at some point before I had pulled the roast. As usual, a lot of exuded juices in the bag. Dried, rubbed with olive oil and the spice mix and browned in a cast iron skillet using a mix of canola and butter. The last photo is what it looked like in the end. I used the juices and some white wine to deglaze the pan for a sauce that was not pretty, but tasted good.
The pork was moist and tender and the brining brought out some nice flavor. The bites with the coffee-cocoa crust were different from the interior parts.
I would definitely make this again. The rub certainly solved the problem of giving it a nicely colored exterior, and added a nice flavor to the edge pieces. I’ll have to get some real cocoa powder, though. It’s kind of a waste to use the fancy instant hot chocolate. The Folgers crystals worked, but looking over other coffee-based rubs, it seems that most people use finely ground coffee grounds. There are probably lots of variations I could try for the rub/crust part.