Crackling Pork Loin
Jaw-dropping centerpiece dishes require two essentials: salt and time. Preseasoning is the simplest thing you can do to make a good piece of meat great. Given enough time to penetrate tissue, salt works flavor magic: It denatures proteins, breaking up their molecular strands into shorter amino acids—among them an abundance of glutamic acid, the essence of umami—to release a complex symphony of savory flavors. It requires a long cooking time to fully render the fat cap and cook a pork loin, which can result in a dry piece of meat if you’re not careful. A wet brine ensures that the meat stays tender and succulent, while the addition of kombu and bonito flakes lend a delicate smokiness to the meat. We love the rich marbling and quality of Snake River Farms’ Kurobuta rack of pork.