Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?I chuckle ever time I think of that Simpson quote because the pig is truly a magnificent beast. And this weekend I was struggling to figure out what to do to my beautiful pork loin. I should have put them in a brine on Saturday, but the laziness of the day got away from me so I didn't do it until early Sunday. I didn't measure out what I used for the brine, but here's my best guess:
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
1/2 cup of Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 TBLSP minced garlic
2 TBLSP ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup of brown sugar
6 cups of water
I just threw it all in a ziploc bag along with the two pork tenderloins (probably 2 pounds each) and let them soak it up for about eight hours.
As this was going on I was trying to figure out what else to do with them. My apologies to Steve, but I wasn't up for standing outside and smoking them yesterday. I was thinking a rub but I wasn't really feeling it. I was looking around some different sites when I found the bacon-wrapped maple pork loin. And while this recipe look good I wasn't feeling it either.But I did have some left over bacon from the carbonara on Saturday so I did a variation. I took the loins out of the brine, rinsed them off, and just wrapped them in bacon. I cooked them at 350 degrees for about an hour until an internal temp of 140 degrees. I then let the meat rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.
It turned out really well. Even brining it for eight hours left the meat very tender and flavorful. I put a little Sweet Baby Ray's on the top too.
For a side I did a baked cauliflower. I rinsed and trimmed it. I then poured a beaten egg over the top and added some salt and pepper and freshly grated romano cheese. I cranked the oven up to 400 for this and it took about 30 minutes. In the future I may blanch the cauliflower for a few minutes before tossing it in the oven so it doesn't take as long to cook.