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Orange-Brined Pork Loin

Boneless pork loins always look so inviting sitting in the butcher's meat case, but without proper preparation they are often dry and chewy.  The secrets to a memorable pork loin roast are, one, don't overcook, and two, use a brine.  Brining not only ensures a juicy result, but also carries flavors in to the piece of meat being brined.  This orange-brined pork loin is absolutely fantastic.  Truly as good as it gets.  Your guests will applaud you at the dinner table :)

1 recipe slow brining solution
zest of one orange
3 cups fresh orange juice
cup low-sodium soy sauce
1-3 pound (approximately) boneless pork loin
For the Glaze  
cup orange marmalade
cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

Pour 1 cup of the brining solution into a small saucepan along with the zest and bring to a boil; remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (adding a few ice cubes will help speed the cooling off.)  Pour the zest solution into a mixing bowl along with the remaining brine, OJ and soy sauce.  Mix well.

Place the pork loin into a 2 gallon zip lock baggie (see note), and add the brining liquid.  Press all air out of the baggie and lock the baggie tight.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Remove the pork from the brining solution and discard the brine.  Rinse the roast, pat dry and allow to stand while the oven is preheating.  Place the pork loin on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake for an additional 45 minutes.

While the roast is in the oven prepare the glaze by combining the marmalade, OJ and soy sauce in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and cook just until the marmalade has melted, just a few seconds.

Brush the glaze on the roast.  After 5 minutes check the internal temperature of the roast with an instant read thermometer.  The roast is ready to come out of the oven when it registers 155 degrees (slightly pink).  If not done, coat with additional glaze and continue to check the temperature every 5 minutes until ready.

Remove from oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Notes:

If you don't have a 2 gallon zip lock a 1 gallon size will suffice.  You won't get all of the brining liquid, and the pork loin, to fit, but you'll got most of it and this will be okay.

 

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