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Wood-Roasted Cider-Brined Pork Loin

Serves 6-8

© by Al Douglas

On pork night, we serve smoked bellies with wood-roasted loins and our signature four-step pork loin play. First, the wet-brine method adds savouriness, sweetness, and a hint of apple flavour. Second, we slowly render and crisp the fat cap of the loin over one fire then, third, give it a fierce finishing roast with another fire. Lastly, a rest. No wood oven in your kitchen? No worries. A cider-brined pork loin roasted in an oven is still a beautiful thing.


  • Fresh Apple Cider 4 cups
  • Sea Salt ¼ cup
  • Brown Sugar ¼ cup, tightly packed
  • Cinnamon 1 Tbs
  • Ground Allspice ½ tsp
  • Hot Sauce 1 Tbs
  • Boneless Pork Loin Roast 1 x 3 to 4 lb, fat cap trimmed to ¼ inch

Cook It

  1. Marinate the Pork Loin: In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and hot sauce. With a sharp knife, evenly score the fat cap, forming a tight diamond pattern, making parallel cuts about 1 inch apart, first one way, then the other. Place the pork loin in a small container or loaf pan. Pour the cider brine over the meat to submerge it, cover tightly, and refrigerate long enough for the seasoned brine to be drawn into the meat, 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Roast the Pork Loin: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Turn on the convection fan if you have one.
  3. Remove the pork loin from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the brine. Place the pork loin scored side up in a medium roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender. The pork is done when a thermometer registers at least 145°F in the thickest part of the loin.  Begin checking the temperature after an hour or so, and expect about 90 minutes total cooking time.
  4. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with a small piece of folded foil, and rest as the meat relaxes and reabsorbs its juices, 10 minutes or so, before serving.
Excerpted from Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes from the Inn at Bay Fortune by Michael Smith Copyright © 2021Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin Canada®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.