• BRINE:
  • 2-6 fresh pork tenderloins ( freeze what you don't cook and defrost refrigerated )
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1-2 cups of maple syrup (fresh is not required)
  • 1 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • small handful of pickling spices
  • small handful of peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2-4 springs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme
  • 6-12 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • Any combination of the above that you have on hand will do fine. Salt and maple syrup are a must.


Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a non-reactive or stainless steel pot and bring to a boil for about 1 hour.. Stir the brine a few times to ensure that the salt, sugar, and maple syrup have dissolved. Let the brine cool down then refrigerate it in a large stainless pan or a non-reactive container or the same one you cooked it in. When brine is cold, add the pork tenderloins submerged completely keep covered under refrigeration for 12 to 48 hours. The DANGER ZONE for bacteria is 40 to 140ยบ so do not put chops in a HOT brine. When ready to grill, remove the pork from the brine and pat or shake dry (without rinsing).

Heat or light your grill to high with the grate as close to the heat as possible. Hardwood that comes from Canada is the best for grilling. If you don't have this type of grill, gas or charcoal will do. Season pork with magic on all sides and place on grill the first side for about 1 minute. Flip a 1/4 turn at a time to score evenly and grill for 3-5 minutes until done to your lileness. Don't kill them; cook rare to medium. Transfer to a warm serving platter, drizzle with olive oil and serve with apple chutney.

About 150 years ago, cooks and commercial food processors relied salting and smoking and brining to prevent various foods like meats, fish, and vegetables from spoiling. Today, brined meat dishes such as chicken and pork are appearing in upscale restaurant menus around the country. Brining is also a simple way of improving texture, tenderness and flavor. Since brining causes meat to absorb liquid, a good brining solution makes meat juicier and tastier than it would be normally. A good example would be lean pork and even for turkey. Another asset is that it draws some of the blood and bacteria out off the meat.

American pigs are 50 to 70 percent leaner than they were 20 years ago, however, fat does contribute moisture and flavor to the meat. And, since the worm that causes Trichinosis is no longer present in American pork, it is now safe enough that it doesn't have to be cooked well done. My Mother would overcook pork so much that you could have used it for heels on your shoes. However, By brining the pork chops for 24 hours it draws out some of the blood and bacteria and you can cook it to 140 degrees without having ant problems. Today, some people are still convinced that If they see pink in a pork chop, they think they're going to get sick.

Experiment with seasonings: Because there's more salt and seasoning in the brine than in the meat, the meat muscle absorbs the seasonings throughout instead on the surface only, as in most grilling methods. Kosher Salt is essential; 1 cup per gallon of water. Everything else is optional: E.G. fresh thyme and rosemary or any other herbs, garlic, ginger, fresh juniper berries, clove, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, mustard seed, coriander seed, star anise, hot pepper flakes or Sichuan peppercorns; for sweetness use sugar, honey or maple syrup which will also enhance browning. Two things to remember; Don't reuse the brine and don't salt brined meat before cooking.

MAGIC??? Everyone has heard of this but there really is 'no magic'. Many major Chef's use magic for grilling and some even have their own private labeled on your grocers shelf, which I'm sure you've seen. After you read the ingredients, you can be creative with the spices you think will go well with what you are grilling. E.g. fish, pork chicken, veggies, etc. Start with 1/3 each: sugar, Kosher salt, granulated or granulated garlic. Now add some pepper and any other spice you have on your spice rack that you like or think would go well with what you are cooking. E.g. nutmeg, onion powder, sage. thyme, chili powder, whatever. Use generously. APPLE CHUTNEY: 2 1/2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1 seeded lemon, chopped 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger Small handful of slivered almonds 1 cups cider vinegar 1/2 pound light brown sugar 1 teaspoons mustard seed Kosher Salt to taste Combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan until sugar is dissolved. Simmer until mixture thickens and you can spoon up lumps of it. Pour into sterilized jars to seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes preserve if desired. This will be "del'arte di mangiare bene. (the art of eating well) Buona Appetito, VINCENZO

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Submitted 9/22/05.