Monday, August 11, 2008

Chile-Brined Roasted Pork Loin

7 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons grated lime rind
1 tablespoon Mexican dried oregano
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
2 cups ice cubes
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Mexican dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray

Combine 1 cup water, cumin, rind, 1 tablespoon oregano, and 6 garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Add remaining 6 cups water, salt, and sugar, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in chiles. Pour salt mixture into a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add ice and pork; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Combine juice, pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 2 garlic cloves. Place pork in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush juice mixture over pork. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove pork from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 155°. Place pork on a platter. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes. Thinly slice.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

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