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This was my first attempt at brining, and I was simply THRILLED how the roast turned out. It was really FULL of flavor, and moist as could be. I adapted this from one I saw made on Food 911, by adding some of my own brine ingredients, and a little different twist on the peaches. This was for my family's Christmas Eve dinner, so I wanted something extra special. The roasted peaches on the side were a terrific compliment to the pork. I know this recipe has a lot of time-consuming steps, but if you're looking for a special dinner for a crowd, this one works very well, and, I think, is worth the time. Prep time does NOT include 6 hour brine time!
- 5 lbs center cut bone-in pork roast (about)
For the brine
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon allspice berry
- 2 -4 bay leaves
For the roast
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 -4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 large carrots, peeled
- 1 head garlic, top cut off
- 1 onion, halved
- 4 shallots, halved
For the peaches
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon whoile mustard seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 dozen peaches, pitted and halved or 2 (28 ounce) cans peaches, drained (1 cup of syrup reserved)
- olive oil
For the sauce
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 -3 tablespoon butter
- Place brine ingredients, water through bay leaves, in a large plastic juice container.
- I like to mix the brine ahead of time in a giant plastic container to be sure the sugar and salt dissolve.
- I usually do this the night before, and refrigerate.
- Line a large stockpot or roasting pan with a plastic garbage bag, large enough to fit the roast and the liquid.
- Place pork roast in bag, and pour brine mixture over the meat.
- Tie the bag tightly at the top, so that the entire roast is submerged in the liquid.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours (I flipped it once after 3 hours) Remove pork from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Note about the roast: I find better results if the fat layer is left on.
- Please do not over trim this part, or roast will become too dry.
- Season entire roast generously with salt and pepper.
- Lay the fresh rosemary sprigs over top, and tie the roast with butchers twine, securing the meat a bit more snugly to the bone, which will help it hold its shape and cook evenly.
- Coat roasting pan with olive oil and set over two burners over high heat, until oil is almost smoking.
- Sear the pork, fat side down until it has a nice caramelized color.
- Repeat this for all sides of the roast.
- This should be about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the halved carrots, onion, garlic, shallots and a few more sprigs of rosemary to the pan.
- Place roast in oven, and cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150 degrees (about 1 1/2-1 hour 45 minutes) For the peaches: If fresh peaches are available, wisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard seeds (if using), rosemary, and ¼ cup olive oil.
- If fresh peaches are not available, used the canned, omit the honey in the marinade.
- You may use a bit of the reserved peach juice to taste instead Place peaches in roasting pan, and pour marinade over them.
- Give them a toss with your hands and place cut side down.
- Roast in oven for about 15 minutes, or until the fresh peaches are soft.
- When pork is finished, remove it to a cutting board, and let rest while you make the sauce.
- Remove aromatics and vegetable from the roasting pan, and set it back up on the stove on medium heat.
- Deglaze the pan with the apple juice, and scrape up the browned pieces stuck to the bottom.
- Let this simmer and reduce by about a third.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and wisk in butter.
- Remove twine from the roast, carve slices, and serve with sauce and roasted peaches.