I've always thought that more home cooks would try recipes that call for brining the meat, if it were simply referred to (incorrectly, by the way), as a marinade.
Marinating sounds easy, brining sounds complicated. When people see "marinade" they think oil, vinegar, and a few spices rubbed on some meat. Mmm… marinade.
But, when they see "brine" in a procedure, I think they anticipate formulas, ratios, and percentages. Mmm…math?
For all practical purposes, a brine is really nothing more than a water-based marinade. Molecularly-speaking there are big differences between brining and marinating, but as far as cooking skill, or amount of prep work, there is no difference.
This video recipe for maple-brined pork roast is a delicious way for you to experience just how easy a simple brine really is. What a brine does that a marinade doesn't do is force moisture and flavor into the roast. I love the way the meat gets infused with that subtly sweet maple flavor.
I paired this roast pork loin with the rocket beans side dish, which just recently aired, and it was perfect match. By the way, the leftover pork loin, sliced thin and served cold, makes a sandwich that's to die for. Enjoy!
Video won't play? Check out the Youtube version of Maple-Brined Pork Loin instead.
2 to 3 lb boneless pork loin roast
1 quart cold water
1/4 cup salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 slices fresh ginger
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the glaze:
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp Dijon mustard