Nancy Oakes' Vanilla Brine

This recipe makes enough brine for a 4- to 6-pound boneless pork loin, or six 1 3/8- to 1 1/2-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops, or 4 pork tenderloins, 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each. The recipe is from "The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells.

9 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Combine all brine ingredients in a bowl, small crock or heavy-duty plastic container; stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Let cool, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Add pork of choice (see headnote). Weight with a plate if necessary to keep the meat completely submerged.

Refrigerate 3 days for pork loin, 1 to 2 days for chops and 12 hours for tenderloin. Stir the brine each day and turn the pork occasionally.

Roast or grill pork loin or tenderloins. Grill chops or pan-fry according to directions in Cider-Cured Pork Chops.

Source of recipe: Nancy Oakes

Nancy Oakes' Vanilla Brine