Instead of cooking ham or lamb this Easter, go for something a bit different.
Pork loin roast has an amazing flavor - and is outrageously tender - when brined. That's because the brining process adds salt, the flavor of the brine and a whole lot of moisture to the meat.
It's relatively simple, though it does require a bit of planning. You'll want to brine the pork for about 24 hours.
Pork not your thing? This same procedure can be used on whole chickens. The main difference is that you'll want to brine a chicken for just 4 hours, not 24. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken. Just cook the meat until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
Rosemary-cider Brined Easter Pork
•1/4 cup kosher salt
•1/4 cup packed brown sugar
•2 cups apple cider
•1 bunch fresh rosemary
•1 bunch fresh thyme
•1 teaspoon chili powder
•4 pound pork loin roast
•1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the salt, brown sugar, cider, rosemary, thyme and chili powder. Stir just until the sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.
In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine the pork loin and the brine solution. Squeeze out any air and seal the bag shut. Place in a bowl, then refrigerate for 24 hours.
Thirty minutes before you are ready to cook, heat oven to 350 degrees. Fit a roasting pan with a rack.
Drain the pork and discard the brine solution. Rinse the pork with cool water, then pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the surface of the pork with the oil and place on the rack. Roast for 45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees at the center of the pork. Rest meat 15 minutes.