Brining is the process of soaking meat in a solution of salt, sugar and water. In doing so the meat absorbs extra liquid and flavour, resulting in a juicier, more flavourful end product and is particularly handy for leaner cuts of meat.
Ok, but which meats can I brine?
Only any meat you can possibly think of. Beef! Pork! Venison! Bison, what are more meats?! Poultry benefits greatly from the brining process. Large roasts, racks of ribs, anything you may be planning to smoke will benefit from a good preemptive brine.
But it doesn’t stop there ladies and gentlemen; no! Brining isn’t just a barbecue tip but a great idea for any and all meats you plan to smoke, grill, roast or fry! You can even try your hand at curing and preserving meats granted you have the additional means to do so.
Basic brine for meat, poultry and fish
1 litre boiling (or at least very hot) water. Makes the water more soluble.
45 grams packed brown sugar
75 grams salt
Combine your ingredients in a medium bowl or container. Throw in some herbs and spices for an infusion of flavour. Feel free to spread your creative culinary wings, experiment; let us know what you come up with.
Here’s a classic recipe though to help get you in the mood.
Cuban Pork Brine
For 2 kilos of pork shoulder.
* double up on the basic brine
a good handful of cilantro ripped and bruised
1 tbsp orange zest
180 ml orange juice (fresh)
120 ml lime juice
20 g mint leaves ripped and bruised
8 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
Once the brine is cold, pour it over your meat in a Vacuvita container making sure it is completely submerged. The medium-sized Vacuvita container have the optimal size for brining your meat and fish. Vacuum seal it and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours, instead of the regular 18-24 hours (ain’t nobody got time for that).
In the meantime…
60ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml lime juice
120ml orange juice
salt and pepper to taste.