Sweet Tea-Cured Roast Pork
- SERVINGS: 8
This succulent pork combines two southern classics, sweet tea and pork chops. Have your butcher remove the chine bone from the roast, make 1/2 -inch-deep incisions through the bone between the ribs and "french" the bones (scrape them clean of fat and gristle). Brine the pork for 2 days to guarantee juicy meat.
- 16 orange pekoe tea bags
- 2 quarts of boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 lemons, quartered
- One 8-bone center rib roast of pork, trimmed of all visible fat (about 4 1/2 pounds)
Sweet Tea Rub
- 3 tablespoons minced lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
- 5 lemon tea bags, opened
- Steep the orange pekoe tea bags in the boiling water until the tea is very strong, about 8 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar, salt and cider vinegar until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour the tea into a large bowl, add the lemons and 2 quarts of ice water and let the tea cool completely. Add the pork roast; it should be entirely submerged in the brine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Set the roast, meaty side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and generously coat with the sweet tea rub. Let the roast stand at room temperature until it is no longer cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Roast the pork in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 135°. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes. Carve the roast by cutting between the bones. Arrange the chops on a large platter and serve.
Young but ripe and juicy Zinfandel marries nicely with roasted pork chops that have been rubbed with lemon tea and herbs. Try the Ridge Geyserville, a Zinfandel blend.