Following the recipe

Depending on what I am cooking, I may follow a recipe……or I may not.  Generally the result is good either way, but every once in a while something goes completely off the tracks.  Last night, I followed the recipe and everything came out just fine. 

This story begins several years ago.  While walking through Home Depot trying to find some pool supplies, I ran across a cookbook by the name of Weber’s Charcoal Grilling: The Art of Cooking with Live Fire by Jamie Purviance.  I didn’t have a big Weber grill at the time and didn’t have a clue who Jamie Purviance was, but the book had really good looking pictures.  That was good enough so it went in my buggy.  I flipped through the pages when I got home and pretty much forgot about it.

Flash forward a few years and a good buddy gave me a Weber for Christmas.  What better way to enjoy the grill than to prepare a few recipes from Weber’s own cookbook.  My wife flipped through the pages and settled on grilled pork loin with tomatillo salsa.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 6 to 8 hours
Way to grill: direct medium heat (350° to 450°F)
Grilling time: 40 to 50 minutes

Brine
1 quart cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile powder
Zest of 1 lime
1 boneless pork loin, about 2-1/2 pounds, trimmed of excess fat

Salsa
4 slices bacon
10 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 medium Anaheim chile peppers, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1. In a large bowl whisk the brine ingredients until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Place the pork in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the brine. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

2. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crispy, 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels, but leave the melted bacon fat in the skillet. Add the tomatillos, chile peppers, onion, and garlic. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat until the tomatillos begin the collapse and the chiles are tender, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Process until smooth. Finely chop the drained bacon and mix into the sauce. Set aside at room temperature.

3. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the pork with oil and season evenly with the salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.

5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the pork over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the surface is dark brown and the internal temperature reaches 150°F, 40 to 50 minutes, turning and rotating every 10 minutes for even cooking. If the pork begins to burn, finish cooking it over indirect heat, turning occasionally (total cooking time will be slightly longer). Remove the pork from the grill and let rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile reheat the sauce over medium heat. Cut the pork crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch thick and serve warm with the salsa.

They only thing I could think of to add a little dash to this was Benton’s bacon.  It was some kind of fine.

I was in a hurry to eat and forgot to take a picture with the salsa on the pork loin, but trust me it was on there when we plated it.  Give it a try.

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About randywallace
I am a husband, father, attorney, outdoorsman and cook.

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