Monday, November 22, 2010

Pernil Pork Party - Secret Brine for the Perfect Pork

So in my journey for the perfect Pernil for my holiday ham I "invented" a fun brine to inject into the pig after I season it.   When I tried the brine on my last practice pig it came out amazing!   The Pernil was one of the juiciest Pernil hams I have ever had (and oh btw I have eaten ALOT of pernil).

FYI Pernil is the PERFECT holiday recipe

So here is the recipe and a few pics to help you guide your way to a killer brine development.    I am half debating flavors I want to secretly start injecting into my wife Megan to make my life a little tastier.   Just kidding.....

Here is my original recipe:

Marinade for Injection

1 Thai Chili
1 Dried New Mexican Chili
1 Dried Chipolte Chili
1 Tablespoon of Cider Vinegar
1.5 Cup of Water
.5 Cup Vegatable Stock

I of course has fundamental issues following directions so here is the modified recipe I used in the final based on my last taste experience

Marinade for Injection

2 Dried New Mexican Chili
2 Dried Chipolte Chili
1/4 cup of Cider Vinegar
1.5 Cup of Water
.5 Cup Vegatable Stock
1 large garlic halved
Adobo (to taste) 
FRESH Oregano (to taste)
8 black peppercorns

Add the water and chilies to a pan and bring it to boil.  Basically he trick is to get the peppers to release there flavor by mangling them a bit as you turn them.   Once the water is nice and colored then toss in the halved garlic, peppercorns and a bit of oregano to taste.   You will taste the chilies and get only a TINY bit of heat which makes it nice.   Control the heat by removing the chilies when you feel it is hot enough.   

Add the cider and stock and cook it down a bit.    Toss in the adobo to taste.    yum yum

Here is a pic of the brine going on the stove top for me.     

I removed the meat from the chilies and added them to my final seasoning recipe.  Here is a picture of the final brine and the scooped out pepper.   Now I did make a ton of brine which I only injected 2 needles with but I wanted the flavors to blend well.

In the next step I seasoned the meat according to this final recipe:


10 Cloves of Garlic
1.5 Teaspoons Cider Vinegar
1.5 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
.5 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Oregano
8 Black Peppercorns
8 Tablespoon of Salt
Scooped out peppers from my brine

Crush up all the goodness with your mortar and pestle.   Have your pig out for a bit to bring up its temperature.   I left mine out 30 mins.  It was a 7" pernil btw.    YUM YUM

I stabbed 2" holes all through it as well as cutting diamonds into the skin to make sure I can eat that pernil pork bubble gum once it cooks.  YUM YUM

I stuff the holes i cut with the seasoning and coated every inch of the pig with the seasoning.    It is now in my refrigerator and will sit there until thanksgiving morning where I will cook my holiday ham puerto rican style... PERNIL.   YUM YUM

Here is a pic of the seasoned ham with the juice injected.

SO.   I will post new pics when it comes out and take interviews from my family.   I tested these recipes on a "focus group" of my wife and my friends the weeks prior to thanksgiving.   I have been given a full two thumbs up green light from seasoned pernil eaters.     I CAN NOT WAIT


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