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Brined Pork Roast with Port Wine Sauce

For extra-special occasions, I enhance my basic Herb-Rubbed Pork Loin (recipe at right) by first brining the roast, which results in extremely tender meat. Then I top slices with a robust wine sauce.—Robin Schloesser, Chester, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 1 hour 20 min. + standing
  • Makes
    12 servings (2 cups sauce)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 3 fresh sage sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • PORK:
  • 1 boneless whole pork loin roast (4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons each minced fresh marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups port wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon browning sauce, optional
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat; cool brine to room temperature.
  • Place a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag inside a second resealable bag; add roast. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Drain and discard brine; pat roast dry. In a small bowl, combine the oil, herbs and pepper; rub over pork. Place roast on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Pour water into pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145°.
  • For sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add shallots; cook and stir until tender. Stir in wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the broth, vinegar and sugar. Cook, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in the cream, thyme, salt, pepper and browning sauce if desired. Discard bay leaf. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Transfer roast to a serving platter. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauce.
To Make Ahead: The port wine sauce can be made a day before; cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low when ready to serve.
Nutrition Facts
4 ounces cooked pork with about 3 tablespoons sauce (calculated without browning sauce): 315 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 92mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 30g protein.

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