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Chile-Brined Roasted Pork Loin

2 servings
Prep info
45 minutes prep + 24 hours marinade + 15 mins prep + 1 hour cook + 15 minutes rest
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
1 day, 2 hours, 15 minutes
Time required
1 day, 2 hours, 15 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc


  • First Lot for Marinade:
  • 3 T water
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 t lime zest
  • 1/2 t dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • Rest of Marinade:
  • 1 c water
  • 1.5 T salt (coarse) (kosher, if available)
  • 1.5 T Sugar (Granulated)
  • 1 oz chopped chipotle (canned in adobo sauce, if available)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 lb pork loin (boneless, trimmed)
  • Lot for the second day, after marinating:
  • 2 t lime juice (fresh)
  • 1/3 t ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 cloves minced garlic


1. Combine first lot for the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Pour into large bowl. Add water, salt, and sugar; stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in chiles and ice.  Cool to room temperature. Pour salt mixture into a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 24 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 450F.

3. Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Place pork in roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush juice mixture over pork. Bake at 450F/230C/Gas 8 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325F/165C/Gas 3 (do not remove pork from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes or until thermometer inserted in thickest portion of pork registers 155F (check after 15 minutes). Place pork on a platter. Cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Cut in half and serve.


SJ Note 30 Jan 2010: We didn't have any chipotles to hand, so I used 1 t ground ancho chili powder instead - this is a hit!

SJ Note 23 Aug 2010: Yummy again with 1/2 T ancho chili powder instead of the chipotle, and lemon zest and juice instead of lime (forgot to get a lime).