Project Angel Heart executive chef, Jon Emanuel, the subject of this week's Chef and Tell interview, serves nearly 800 dishes a day to people with life threatening illnesses, including an herb-roasted pork with pan juices, a brining recipe, says Emanuel, that's easy to do at home.
"Everyone should know the culinary magic that is brining, the soaking of raw foods in a salt (and usually) sugar solution that enhances flavor and promotes juiciness," he says. "It's a technique that's very easy and you'll astound your friends with your culinary wizardry."
The base recipe for the brine, notes Emanuel, is the water, salt and sugar in the proportions listed in this recipe after the jump, which can be converted to any volume. "The brine may (or may not) be infused with whatever spices, fresh herbs, liqueurs and aromatic vegetables you feel would be appropriate, in this case garlic and sage," says Emanuel.
Herb Roast Pork with Pan Jus Serves 4-6
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1 each 2-3 pound center cut pork loin ½ gallon water ½ cup kosher salt ¼ cup sugar 2 whole smashed garlic cloves 4 fresh sage leaves 6 black peppercorns Olive oil as needed for coating pork Black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon (or as needed) Herbes de Provence ½ onion, diced 1 medium sized carrot, chopped 1 medium sized celery rib, chopped 2 cups water
Pork pan drippings ½ cup white wine Water as needed Salt and/or pepper as needed
1.Prepare the brine by adding the water, salt, sugar, garlic, sage and peppercorns to a non-reactive sauce pan. 2. Bring to a boil until salt and sugar are dissolved and the flavors of the sage and garlic have been infused. 3. Remove to a non-reactive container large enough to hold the pork and the brine and chill thoroughly (don't add the pork until the brine is thoroughly chilled). 4. Once the brine is chilled, add the pork loin to the brine and soak 4 hours. 5. Remove the loin and discard the brine. 6. Pat the loin dry, rub with olive oil, season with pepper (no salt--the brine took care of that) and the Herbes de Provence. 7. In the bottom of a roasting pan that can fit a rack for the pork, add the onion, carrot and celery and the water. 8. Roast the pork at 350 degrees on a rack over the roasting pan until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees with an insta-read thermometer. 9. Remove the loin and rack from the roasting pan and allow the pork to rest for at least 10 minutes. 11. While the pork is resting, prepare the pan jus. 12. Heat the roasting pan with the drippings and vegetables over high heat on the stove. 13. Once hot, pour the wine into the hot pan to deglaze, scraping with a metal spatula to release the caramelized bits from the pan. Reduce all the liquid in the pan by half and reserve this liquid in another small pan. Taste the liquid and, if necessary, add enough water to dilute the liquid until you like the flavor. 14. Re-heat as needed, strain to remove and discard the vegetables, and season the jus with salt and/or pepper if necessary (it will probably be salty enough due to the brine). 15. Serve jus with the roast pork.