From The Herbfarm Cookbook.
¾ cup pure maple syrup (grade A or B)
1 cup water
4 teaspoons salt
4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
2 4-inch sprigs fresh sage
6 3-inch sprigs fresh English thyme
4 fresh by laurel leaves or 2 dried
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, or 1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard
1 3-pound boneless pork loin roast
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 3 to 5 8-inch branches rosemary, sage, or bay
3/4 cup white wine, such as Riesling or Chardonnay
1. Making the brine. Bring the maple syrup, the water, and the salt to a boil
in a small saucepan. Stir in the herbs and mustard, cover, and let steep off the heat
for 10 minutes. Pour the brine into a large measuring cup and add enough ice cubes to
measure 2 cups.
2. Brining the pork. If your roast consists of 2 pieces of loin tied together,
cut the string and separate the pieces. Put the pork in a container in which it will fit
snugly but comfortably and pour in the cold brine. The liquid should just cover the
meat; if it doesn't, add more water. Cover and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
3. Roasting. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the pork from the brine and
discard the brine. Rinse the pork under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. If
the pork is in 2 pieces, you can tie them back together as they were, or keep them
separated. Season the outside of the pork generously with pepper. Put the whole herb
branches in the bottom of a small roasting pan or shallow baking dish and set the pork on
top. If large herb branches are not available, set the meat directly in the pan. Pour
the wine into the pan. Roast the pork for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and
continue to roast until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast
registers 145° to 150°F. Be sure to take readings in more than one place in
the roast and use the lowest. If the roast is untied, it will take 30 to 60 minutes
after the oven temperature is lowered. If the roast is 2 pieces tied together, it will
take 1 to 1½ hours.
4. Serving. Transfer the roast to a platter and let it rest for at least 10
minutes. Pour the jus that formed in the bottom of the pan into a sauceboat and skim off
any fat that rises to the surface. Taste for seasoning and serve the jus separately.
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