Christopher Testani
Active Time
1 HR 30 MIN
Total Time
19 HR 45 MIN
Yield
Serves : 6

Jaw-dropping centerpiece dishes require two essentials: salt and time.  Preseasoning is the simplest thing you can do to make a good piece of meat great.  Given enough time to penetrate tissue, salt works flavor magic: It denatures proteins, breaking up their molecular strands into shorter amino acids—among them an abundance of  glutamic acid, the essence of umami—to release a complex symphony of savory flavors. It requires a long cooking time to fully render the fat cap and cook a pork loin, which can result in a dry piece of meat if you’re not careful. A wet brine ensures that the meat stays tender and succulent, while the addition of kombu and bonito flakes lend a delicate smokiness to the meat.

How to Make It

Step 1    Make the brine

Combine water and kombu in a large pot, and let stand until kombu is pliable, about 15 minutes. Cook over high just until steaming, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bonito flakes and salt; let stand 15 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a nonreactive food-safe container large enough to hold pork; discard solids. Add ice, honey, black pepper, and vinegar, and stir until ice melts and brine is cool. Add pork, cover, and chill at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 2    

Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Place pork, bone side down, on a wire rack set inside a roasting pan, and chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

Step 3    

Preheat oven to 250°F. Let pork stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Roast pork until browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 135°F, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Remove from oven, and let pork rest 30 minutes. (Temperature will increase as pork rests.) Increase oven temperature to 450°F.

Step 4    Make the glaze

Stir together miso, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl. Brush glaze over pork. Return pork to oven, and roast at 450°F until fat cap crisps and glaze begins to bubble and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Step 5    

Let pork stand 5 minutes; carve between bones into 6 chops.

Notes

Try this method with chicken leg quarters or rabbit legs.

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