Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Pork Loin Post (With a Contest!)

In honor of National Pork Month, Costco and The Motherhood asked me to share a recipe with you.

I love eating and I love pork so I readily agreed. Then I remembered I am not much of a cook. I mean, I get by, but when I was faced with an eight pound pork tenderloin I panicked.

Then I calmed down because I immediately remembered that I married very wisely and my husband is an outstanding chef. I also remembered that we recently purchased an enormous smoker.

Do you know what is better than smoked pork?

Me neither.

So Gabe took the pork loin and last night he put in in a brine.

Brine Recipe

  • water (enough to cover your pork)
  • salt
  • celery
  • lemon
  • peppercorns
  • white vinegar

Bring everything to a boil. After it boils, let it cool and then submerge the pork in your brine over night.

It looks kind of gross, but this is an important step.

Then, this morning around 9:00 am he lit the fire. Yes, 9:00 am. We take our barbecuing very seriously in this house.

We take our barbecuing so seriously that we (and by we I mean Gabe) built a home for our smoker so it wouldn't get rusted out like our last one. We call it "The Shanty". I think my neighbors hate it but I secretly love it. It would be right at home in Kingston.

He got the fire to about 225 degreees and then it cooked.

And cooked.

And cooked.

And cooked.

For about seven hours.

The goal was an internal temperature of 180 degrees.

Note: In May, the USDA reduced the temperature guideline for pork loins, chops and roasts from 160 to 145 degrees F, with a three-minute rest.

Other Note: Gabe says that the 180 degrees isn't about safety (pork is safe at 145 degrees F) it is about the temperature when the connective tissue breaks down when you are slow cooking any animal. Same with beef ribs.

Now at this point Gabe says I need to tell you that he water smoked the pork loin.

I had no idea what that meant and so I asked him He says that water smoking is when you put a pan of water in the bottom of the smoker so that the water evaporates and circulates and convects moisture so that you are wet smoking the meat instead of dry smoking it.

In this case it made for a very moist, very delicious, pork loin.

Gabe served our pork loin with a mango relish. (At first he was going to do a chutney which sounded fancier, but probably wouldn't have been as good.)

Gabe's Mango Relish
  • mango
  • onion
  • red wine vinegar
  • chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
He usually makes this relish with some spice - generally jalapeƱos or serranos
but since the kids were eating with us he took out all of the heat. I was worried that it would be bland, but it was absolutely delicious.

We paired it with a bottle of 2008 Ledson Legend. The Legend is a Merlot blend and it paired perfectly.

To be honest, we just got lucky with the pairing. We only had four choices and it seemed like our best bet.

I'd tell you about the chocolate flourless waffle he made for dessert, but it would just make you jealous. Also, I'm too full to talk about it.

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So! You probability want to know about this contest.

Costco is giving one of my readers a $25 Costco Cash Card and a digital thermometer along with more information about pork.

To enter, please leave me a comment telling me about your favorite pork dish. The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will end on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm ET. Please make sure you leave me an e-mail address where I can get in touch with you. I will draw a random winner by October 30th. One entry per comment, 5 comment maximum.

For more information you can also visit:
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I am being compensated by The Motherhood and Costco for my participation in this promotion and they are also providing the prize for the contest. All opinions and words are my own. All of the recipes are from my husband.


Trisaratops said...


I have a great recipe for Apricot Pork Chops in my slow-cooker--yum! I am a big fan of pork and love to pair it with fruit. That looks amazing.

saraziemnik at gmail dot com


egplnt21 said...

Oh does that look good.

Pork butt, overnight in the slow cooker, pulled apart, and made into bbq pulled pork sandwiches.

egplnt21 at aol dot com

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

We actually don't eat much pork here, but I can't resist commenting for the Costco Card. Heh.

Anyway, when it comes to pork, I do like the occasional slice of bacon or pancetta. And pepperoni is a requirement on my pizza.

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