Now that I have more time to test recipes, I thought I would check my freezer to see what's available since I still have all sorts of meat that were leftover from school. I found a boneless pork butt, veal tenderloin and some duck legs. I've been wanting to try out a brine recipe and thought the pork butt would be ideal. Brining is like marinating, but with a lot more liquid. This method was used originally to preserve meat. It is now used to gain flavoring and it retains a lot of its juiciness after cooking.
I found a brining recipe that Chef Chris (my favorite Chef instructor) have given us and broke it down according to the size of the pork butt. There seems to be some debate about how long the meat should be left in a brine. I inquired about it on line and some said I shouldn't leave it in for more than 24 hours as it would start curing. As I confirmed with my classmate Kelly, she brined a pork butt for graduation, 4 days was long enough. I also learned that I should have heated the brine ingredients first but since the honey was stirred in well with the other ingredients, it turned out to be OK that I didn't heat the brine first. The pork was really tasty and juicy. It was very tender. I also slow roasted for 7 hours at 250 degrees.
I know it seems like now that the summer is all about grilling, no one wants to use their oven for that amount of time, but if you slow roast it and make pull pork sandwiches with homemade barbecue sauce that seems to be just as summery as grilling a hamburger. It is also great for entertaining as this recipe is so easy to prepare.
Brine (This recipe was adapted for a 6 - 8 pound pork butt)
6 cups of water
2 cups of soy
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup of honey
3 oz of sliced ginger (no need to peel)
5 gloves of garlic or half head of garlic (no need to peel)
4 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of Chinese 5 spice
Combine all the brine ingredients, stir well or cook the liquid and cool, tied the pork butt to ensure it cooks evenly. Submerge the pork butt with the fat still covering the meat as this will keep the meat moist. Brine for at least one to four days (depending on the weight of the pork). Take it out of the brine, wipe off excess liquid, let it dry for a couple of hours. I let it dry in the fridge overnight then slow roast it at 250 degree for 7 hours or until the meat is falling off. Slice or pull the meat, put it on your favorite bread, I recommend Ciabatta rolls, add your favorite barbecue sauce or top with some cole slaw. This is a great dish to entertain with family and friends. Enjoy!