Pork Brine

October 12th, 2011 by Daniel Leave a reply »

brining pork

The basic pork brine is merely a ratio of salt to sugar to water.  From there one may add the chili flakes, the dark rum, the thyme and whatever other herbs happen to catch your fancy at the time of brining.  Simple cuts of pork, such as the loin or the chop, do not require as long a brine as say the chunky shoulder or the burly ham, but the brine ratio remains the same.

At the Country Cat the guys brine the  chicken, cure and smoke both our bacon and our country ham, and even give the steelhead a light brine.   The  pork brine is basic: 4 cups water to 1 cup brown sugar to 3/4 cup salt (there are of course some spice and herb additions but I will keep secret about those in an effort to not tarnish the mystique of our little diner).  Go sample the bacon and tell me if you have had better.

I frequently roll into work with food questions on my mind.  The pork brine is kind of an old hat (the restaurant has been open 4 years and so I have had more than sufficient time to cross examine everyone in the kitchen as to the secrets of the brining recipe) and my question generally change with the seasons and with the seasonal produce that comes through the back door.

The pork brine basic guideline is one which I was able to take home and adjust it and tinker with it to match whatever I happen to be cooking.  A lot of the times pork is on the menu, because of its relatively low cost, and because of what I have learned at the Country Cat.  The most basic and cost effective use of the pork brine is to take a bone in pork shoulder (frequently $.99 a lb at the local grocery store) brine it over night and braise it.

On duckspoon.com I have filmed the pork brine and the braising of the already brined pork shoulder.  It becomes an extremely tasty and cost effective way to feed the family and still have left overs that may last a few days.  Once you have the basic brining system down then you can whip up your own version of the pork brine, depending on how spicy or herbal you want it and enjoy.

Come check out the simple and cost effective way to do a pork brine at duckspoon.com!



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