Wined and Brined Pork Rib Roast

Round 3 Charcutepalooza challenge: The Brine – and a Pork Rib Roast

I love brines. Give me an extra 24 hours, a box of sea salt and some spices, and I will happily submerge poultry and meat in a liquid bath. A long soak adds moisture to the protein while it brines for hours or even days, ensuring succulent results. This  month’s Charcutepalooza challenge dictated a brine, and I chose pork for several reasons. Lean pork meat can easily dry out, so it is a perfect candidate for moisture inducing brines. I also confess that I like pork best when it’s fortified and embellished with strong umami flavors and marinades, smoothing out the pork’s, er, porky flavor.

To this brine I added white wine, inspired by a pleasant memory of an exquisite roasted pork saddle we enjoyed at Incanto Restaurant in San Francisco. While a recipe was never divulged, Chef Chris Cosentino shared with us that he marinated the pork in wine for several days. And he knows his pork – which rocks. So, inspired by this memory and Charcutapalooza, I made this pork rib roast.

Wined and Brined Pork Rib Roast

If possible, let the pork brine for several days. I brined this roast for 4 days, and the results were flavorful, juicy and tender. Serves 8.

For the brine:
4 quarts water, divided
1 – 750 ml. bottle dry white wine
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
8 sage leaves
4 rosemary sprigs
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 pork rib roast, with 8 bones

For the roast:
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 sage leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine 1 quart water and remaining brine ingredients (not the pork) in a pot large enough to hold the roast. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 3 quarts of water and cool completely. Add pork. If pork is not entirely submerged, add additional water to cover. Cover pot and refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 4 days.

Roast the pork:
3 hours before roasting, remove the pork from the brine and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate, uncovered.
Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Smash garlic, rosemary, peppercorns and sage leaves in a mortar with pestle. Whisk in mustard, lemon juice and olive oil. Smear the paste all over the pork. Place on a rack in a baking pan. Roast in a preheated 400 F. oven until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 F. Let the pork roast rest 20 minutes before carving. Serve garnished with sage leaves and lemon wedges.

What is Charcutepalooza?
An inspirational idea hatched by Cathy Barrow and Kim Foster and now partnering with Food52. It celebrates a Year in Meat, where participating foodies and bloggers will cure, smoke and salt their way through Michael Ruhlman’s bestselling cookbook Charcuterie.

15 responses to “Wined and Brined Pork Rib Roast

  1. You must have a super butcher! I haven’t seen a pork rib roast since I left Pennsylvania Dutch country – where they know their pork…I wonder how much sodium is added to meat from brining? Looks delicious!

  2. Oh, its been so long since I’ve cooked a full pork roast that I must jot this one down for future use. You are right, pork is the perfect foil for a tasty brine, a little advance planning is required, but the reward is so worth the effort. – S

  3. Looks like such a lovely, delicious meal Linda!

  4. You know I meant Lynda…

  5. Looks lovely, Lynda! I don’t think I’ve ever brined anything for more than one day.

  6. Such an elegant offering, Lynda – I love what you’ve done with this challenge.

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  9. I made this with a 4 lb. pork loin and couldnt find juniper berries or fresh herbs but nonetheless it came out excellent! Will be making this again, this time with a 5.5 lb bone-in sirloin with some more fat left on it.
    I brined it for 3 days, took it out camping and put it in a dutch oven for a few hours set next to a fire. then took it out and basted it with the mustard sauce and grilled it slow over coal for another 45 minutes. Best way ive ever tasted pork, and my friends all agreed it was probably the best pork they ever had. Cant wait to make it again, wish i could find a rib roast tho

  10. Just put this in the fridge to brine! So excited for Saturday’s dinner now🙂