A sign of a solid home cook is a great roast recipe. And this is one to have up your sleeve. It’s pretty easy yet tastes complex. You take a lean pork loin roast, brine it, sear it — getting the fat cap nice and crispy — then roast. Sounds simple — and it is. But this roast is also deeply flavorful, thanks to maple syrup, mustard, and ginger, which you use as a glaze mixed with pan juices after it has cooked. A genius move at the end of the roasting process is to sauté Brussels sprouts and fennel in those maple-mustard pan juices. The result is family meal worthy, but absolutely holds its own at a party. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making this pork loin roast recipe over and over, for many years to come.
Maple Brined Pork Loin Roast With Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 7 servings
Time: 8 hours prep, plus 1 hour cooking
1 boneless pork loin roast, approximately 3.5 pounds
8 cups water
2 ¾ cups maple syrup
¾ cups Kosher salt
16 to 20 whole allspice berries
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 teaspoons ground fennel seed
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
For Brussels sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 bulb fennel, sliced
¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
1. Make a brine for the pork: Combine water, 1 ¾ cups maple syrup, salt, allspice berries, fennel seed, and garlic cloves in a large bowl. Stir together until salt is dissolved.
2. Score the roasts’s fat cap with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern. Place in a large dish and cover with brine. Wrap, then place in fridge for 8 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Remove pork and reserve the brine.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear pork on all sides for 7 to 8 minutes until browned. The fat cap should be crispy.
6. Add approximately ½ cup of brine to pan and transfer to oven. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 cup of maple syrup, mustard, and ginger in a bowl.
7. Remove pan from oven and drizzle maple-mustard mixture over roast, basting with pan juices too until well glazed.
8. Remove roast from pan. Let rest approximately 10 minutes.
9. While pork is resting, sauté Brussels sprouts and fennel in the cooking juices from the pork until tender, then deglaze with cider vinegar. To serve, slice, season with salt and pepper, and finish with toasted sunflower seeds.