There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are starting to turn, and the birds are starting to migrate. To me that means a hearty Sunday dinner, a fire in the fireplace, and some good wine.
Brined Cumin Roast Pork
Brine Ingredients, enough for a 2-5# roast:
- 5# boneless pork roast (leave the fat layer on)
- 1C course sea salt (or Kosher salt)
- 1C loosely packed brown sugar
- ½C whole peppercorns (use a blend)
- 10C water – 8 C cold and 2C hot
Directions: Make the brine first. In a large bowl big enough for the pork, dissolve sea salt in 2C of HOT water. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining 8C of COLD water. Let roast mellow in the brine for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. After 8-12 hours, drain, dry, cover, and let the roast sit at room temperature for an hour before roasting while you preheat the oven and prepare the herb crust.
IMPORTANT: Do not change the brine quantities if you use a smaller roast. If you have a roast larger than 5 pounds double the recipe.
Herb Crust Ingredients:
- ¼C EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 2T ground cumin
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- 1C finely minced fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients together (or use a food processor) and massage the rub all over the pork roast’s top fat layer.
Directions: Preheat oven to 450°.
Place the herb encrusted roast on a rack in the center of the roasting pan with the crust side facing up. Roast for about 10 minutes until you see a brown crust forming. (I like to put the oven on convection to help speed the browning process, but I shut it off for the remainder of the roasting when the roast continuing to cook at 350°.)
After 10 minutes at 450°, or until you notice a nice crust has formed, turn down the oven temperature to 350° and continue slow roasting for about 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 150°. Oven temperatures vary as well as the shape and size of a pork roast; you will have to keep an eye on your roast. Dry pork is not good. Leave a meat thermometer in the roast or test it more frequently.
Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil to let it rest before slicing. Serve with the pan juices or make a simple peppercorn gravy.