It’s hard to believe I’ve done two recipes this month alone! I took a break after showing up Meagan with my crack-n-cheese recipe, which she is still jealous about due to the amount of views. It was my turn to once again help out with the posts due to our upcoming trip to Keystone, Colorado for a little snow skiing/snowboarding and relaxation. Since we’ll be gone for 5 days we had to crank out some good recipes to post while we’re gone, so don’t worry there will still be plenty of delicious mouth watering dishes to come.
Although they will be spread out over multiple posts, our kitchen sure looked like we were cooking for a small army. We usually focus on one thing at a time with a few smaller side dishes to complete our normal meal, but that wasn’t the case tonight. We had stuff everywhere, but luckily I wasn’t the one who had to clean tonight! Meagan got the honors since she’s off work tomorrow and I still had to pack.
Ok, now to the actual pork loin your probably all waiting for me to talk about. What can I say, I tend to ramble from time to time. This is a somewhat time consuming recipe, but it is well worth the effort. This is my first time to brine anything, but I will definitely consider it for future meats as it really imparts an extra flavor to the pork as it just seems to soak it up. Oh, and it also keeps it extremely moist (or maybe that was the bacon wrapped around it). I had all intentions of grilling this, but Meagan insisted we roast it in the oven and I think it still turned out great as there was already enough flavor from the brine and bacon.
We had an enjoyable meal on Tuesday for Valentine’s Day, but this definitely gave it a run for its money. In later posts you’ll also see Meagan’s first take on Risotto that was a great compliment to the meal. If your feeling adventurist and want to try something new give both of these a try. You won’t regret it.
Bacon Wrapped Maple Pork Loin – adapted from Epicurious
4 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs fresh sage
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
2 boneless pork loins (1 lb each)
*They usually come two in a package so adjust according to size
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 lb. bacon
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Apple Cider
Begin by combining all of the ingredients into a saucepan on high heat. Be sure to stir as it heats to make sure all of the salt dissolves and bring the brine to just under a boil. Once the brine is hot, pour the brine into another saucepan to cool to room temperature; which will take 1-2 hours. Now place the pork into the saucepan or you can pour it into a suitable bowl to make sure the pork is complete covered by the brine. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 8-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with oven rack placed in the middle. Remove pork from brine and pat dry before placing in a roasting pan; discard the brine. In another bowl, stir in the sage, garlic, syrup, vinegar and cider. Then rub the mixture over the pork covering thoroughly. Now wrap the bacon around the pork by overlapping the ends, then secure the bacon with toothpicks to hold it in place around the pork. Roast the pork for approximately 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.