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Sweet Tea-Cured Roast Pork

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.

slideshow More Pork Roast Recipes

  • Servings: 8

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  • 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)
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Suggested Pairing

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.

Contributed By Published August 1997

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