If you’ve ever cooked pork loin this way you know it makes a terrific cold-cut. It also makes me wish I owned one of those fancy meat slicers. Since it’s cooked sous vide it’s extremely juicy. Some of that juiciness comes from gelatine/collagen so in order to get extreme juiciness you probably wanna apply some heat. I’ve prepared pork this way in past occasions (see my previous boneless pork centre loin sous vide post) usually sticking to pasteurization-to-core cooking times which are usually less than 12 hours but out of convenience I decided to let it go overnight. I was a little worried the long cooking time would have a negative impact on the texture but to my surprise it was actually an improvement. Another thing worth mentioning is that one if not the most important reason behind me buying this meat was the beautiful fat layer covering the top of it. I had to. There was nothing I could do.
If you have time, brine brine brine!
This 5%-5% sugar salt brine is pretty basic but that’s my cooking I guess. I keep seasoning of meats pretty simple. Maybe at times I feel all experimental and try spices and stuff but it’s a bit out of character for me. Experiment all you want by all means, you could try honey instead of sugar for example and add acid to the brine like lemon juice, etc. Pepper, juniper berries, star anise, cloves, whiskey, coke, go nuts but if you wanna keep it simple, salt and perhaps sugar it’s all that’s needed to get an amazingly seasoned brined meat.
I like to boil the brine before using and then refrigerating it before using. You could cool it off by adding ice but then you’d have to work out the salt and sugar concentrations to compensate for the added water, it’s all simple math and I’m sure you can all figure it out. Just make sure your brine is pretty cold before you use it. Same with the meat, keep it as cold as you can before brining avoiding of course freezing it unless you really have to. If you bought the meat frozen (which is not ideal but convenient), thaw it before brining or adjust your brining time to compensate for this. If you wanna keep it simple, add an extra day to your brining time.
Remember that nice fat layer I was talking about? well, a perfect opportunity for crispiness. To facilitate thing during searing I cut the fat layer in a fine criss cross patter similar to what you would do to prepare duck skin for searing. Same concept, increase surface area to speed up fat melting. The rest was now up to hot oil to get the desired effect.
The hotter the better!
And that’s the history of searing. The hotter the better. This causes all kinds of issues in my not so well ventilated kitchen and oversensitive smoke detectors. My work around is deep frying at 400F and if I’m feeling dangerous and wealthy go to around 475F by using ghee. The thing about deep frying is that it is smoke-free, very even and fast. The downside, kitchen fires aren’t fun, in fact, they’re extremely dangerous so be careful when trying this. If you have a grill and the luxury of a yard, I would suggest heating your grill to as hot as it gets and searing stuff that way. More traditional methods of searing are ok, but generate smoke and I don’t like burning oil. It changes the flavor of it and not in a good way. Ghee is a much better fat for shallow pan searing.
Remember to rest the meat to rest before slicing and serving, keep those knives razor sharp and that’s it! Take care guys!