Pork Sirloin Brined in Milk

Pork sirloin is an interesting cut. It is the muscle that lives between the loin and the leg, right above the behind of the hog. Due to its location on the animal, it tends to be lean, but not as tender as the rest of the loin. This makes it a little tricky to work with, because it can easily dry out and seem tough if over-cooked.

We cut the sirloin in a few different ways, depending on what season it is and what we think our customers would enjoy cooking. Boneless chops (called “buckeye”) are a great easy weeknight meal, but most commonly we tie the sirloin up into small roasts that can feed 2-4 people. As I mentioned, if overcooked this cut can come off as dry, but this is easily fixed with a nice brine or marinade. While most times I will brine meat with a salt-sugar-water blend, for the pork sirloin I like to use milk. The natural sweetness and acidity help add that necessary moisture to the roast, and it’s a pretty simple technique. This type of brine works very well with all cuts of pork, especially a shoulder roast.

Pro-Tip: Here at Sanagan’s we have started jarring some of our most popular marinades for the barbecue season. You can slather your chicken with our jerk marinade and your beef short ribs with our teriyaki sauce. Or, as in this recipe, add a couple of spoons of our souvlaki marinade to your favorite meal. It’s a flavour boost that you will definitely want more of!

Serves 2 to 4 people

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs                   pork sirloin
2 cups                   milk, 2% or homogenized
1 tsp                      salt
1 tsp                      freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp                   Sanagan’s souvlaki marinade

Method:

Two days in advance of your meal, whisk together the milk, salt, pepper, and souvlaki marinade. Place the sirloin in a glass or stainless-steel bowl and cover it with the brine. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for two days, turning the pork over a couple of times to ensure the whole thing gets covered with the brine.

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Take the pork out of the brine and place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, fat side up. Discard the brine. Put the pan in the center of the oven and cook for 1.5 hours, or until an internal thermometer stuck into the center of the roast reads 170°F. Take the roast out of the oven.

Turn the broiler on high and let the oven get hot. Place the roast back in the oven and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the top of the roast is a deep golden brown. Remove and rest for ten minutes before slicing thinly and serving.

Hunt Up Some Eggy Quiche This Easter

For your Easter feasting pleasure, Chef Anne is happy to share her Quiche Lorraine recipe. It adheres to the classic format; bacon, eggs, cream, buttery pastry and lots of cheese. This example is adapted from Anne’s experience at Viva Tastings, which in turn, was inspired by Thomas Keller’s version. That’s a quiche with pedigree.

Quiche Lorraine

In addition to some pastry you will need a deep-dish 10 inch pie plate. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and lightly press it into the pie plate, making sure to crimp the edges. Cover and let dough chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Letting it rest will ensure that your pastry won't shrink when cooking.

Preheat your oven to 325F.

While your dough is chilling prepare the filling. It is best to use an inch or so of slab bacon, cut into ¾ inch lardons, and cooked slowly over medium-low heat so that the fat renders and the bacon turns golden. Let bacon drain on paper towels before using. One could also use left over ham (about 1 cup), cut in small pieces or thick cut rashers of bacon, crumbled into chunks or a bit of both.

Then, grate 1 - 1 1/2 cups of cheese - using an old cheddar or gruyere.

Sprinkle some cheese over the bottom of the raw pie dough and then sprinkle with the bacon or ham. Top with remaining cheese. Place pie plate on a parchment lined baking sheet (this will help guard against spills and make it easier to retrieve the hot quiche out of the oven.)

In a bowl, crack 3 eggs. While whisking, add 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of whipping cream. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper and a good pinch of grated nutmeg. Whisk to incorporate. Pour mixture into the pie plate.

Bake for 1 hour or until quiche is puffed and golden on top.

Let rest 15 minutes before serving. 

Speaking of Easter and quiche, lets talk about eggs. Our eggs come from Ontario producers that specialize in “floor birds”, that being hens which are allowed to roam free in their barns without cages and have open access to food and water. If you really want to up your egg game this Easter please have a look at our eggs from Murray’s Farm. That’s the same place that produces some of our prized heritage pork. Each dozen of Murray’s eggs is a beautiful mix of dark browns, light browns and even usually a green one. These beautiful eggs come from an equally attractive mixed flock of chickens. These birds lead an idyllic life that’s as close as you can get to just having a few chickens clucking around out in the barnyard; full outdoor access and all the pecking and bug eating Henrietta could ask for. All of which results in a glorious creamy fresh egg.