Want to know how to roast up a flavourful, juicy Pork Rib Roast? The secret is in the brine! Roast the vegetables alongside the pork and dinner is done.
I love this cooking method so much that I have several recipes on the blog that start with a brine. Readers have let me know how much they love my Best Ever Turkey Brine for special holidays. Then there’s the Buttermilk Brined Crispy Oven Fried Chicken, so perfect for picnics and potlucks.
Apple Cider Brined Pork Rib Roast
I first found this recipe in a 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Since then I’ve made it several times, often changing it in this way, or that. However, the original is perfect just as it is. So, I am sharing this recipe with you because it makes a very delicious one pan roast dinner.
There’s no other way to get a perfectly juicy (and dare I say it…moist!) pork rib roast than this. Since apples and pork are so delicious together, it should be no surprise that the apple cider brine and pork do too. The coriander seed, sugar, salt, and pepper play so well with the pork and apple flavours.
Don’t let the long time on this recipe stop you from trying it out. I promise you, most of that work is done up front when you make the brine and also when you sear the pork. Other than that, it’s mostly a waiting game.
I find that if you start the brine at dinner time, then let it cool throughout the evening you can start brining the pork before you go to bed. That will give you an overnight brine, plus most of the day. Alternatively, start the brine and let it cool overnight. Then, brine the roast early in the morning, before you start the day.
Why You Should Brine Pork Rib Roast
Brining brings out the natural flavour and tenderness of meat. As the meat brines, the salt (and other flavours) as well as the liquid are absorbed into the meat. During cooking, the salt inside will naturally flavor the meat, while the moisture escapes, the original moisture of the meat remains within. It all stays moist and delicious.
As it roasts, the pork develops a perfectly salty exterior crust while the inside remains moist and tender.
There aren’t too many ingredients in this recipe. The brine is apple cider plus several common pantry ingredients and then there’s a pork rib roast, potatoes, and shallots or onions.
- Pork Rib Roast
- Apple Cider
- Bay Leaves
- Coriander seed
- Brown Sugar
- Shallots or Onions
- Olive oil
Did you know that coriander seed is the dried seed of cilantro? In North America we call the fresh herb cilantro, while in other parts of the world it is referred to as coriander. However, I’ve never heard the dried seeds referred to as ‘cilantro seed’.
I like to use unfiltered apple cider in this pork recipe. However, you can use regular apple cider or even apple juice in a pinch. Just don’t use apple cider vinegar!! If you want to make your own apple cider for this recipe, it is worth the time and effort. As it slow cooks, the aromas make your house smell incredible!
If you can’t find fresh bay leaves, I suggest soaking all of the dried bay leaves in the brine (not just two). They will be supple and easier to tuck under the butcher twine before roasting.
What Salt is Best for Brining?
There are so many different types of salt, it can often be confusing trying to figure out which salt to use in a particular application. In general, I tend to use three types of salt the most.
- ‘Table’ salt or fine sea salt is great for salting water for potatoes, pasta, and veggies. Use it to season sauces, dips, vinaigrettes, and in baking. Table salt should never be used in a brine.
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) is best for finishing salt. This salt is often quite expensive and therefore not suitable for use in large quantities (like in a brine).
- The best salt for brining is coarse kosher salt, particularly one that doesn’t contain anti-caking agents. You can also use sel gris (French or Celtic grey sea salt) or Pink Himalayan salt, though they may add additional flavours due to their mineral content.
What is a Pork Rib Roast?
Pork Rib Roasts, otherwise known as rack of pork or pork center loin roasts, are cut from the loin area of the pig. This is the area on either side of the pig’s backbone, in between the shoulders and back legs. This is the most tender part of the animal and the one most likely to suffer from overcooking as it has very little fat marbling.
Pork rib roasts still have the rib bones attached, though they may also be sold boneless. They are very simple to cut into portion sizes because each portion is essentially a pork chop with the bone attached.
How to Make an Apple Cider Brine
To make an apple cider brine, bring brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt dissolve, about 4 minutes.
Next, add 2 bay leaves, 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. peppercorns to the hot brine then transfer it to a large bowl. Pour in the cider and add in 2 cups ice. Let the brine cool to room temperature before using.
To brine the pork, place the roast in a large (2-gal.) resealable plastic bag. Pour in as much brine as you can and seal bag, forcing as much air out as you can. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
How to Cook a Pork Rib Roast
To start cooking the pork, remove the pork from the brine bag, rinse, then pat it dry with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
The next step is to sear the outside of the pork roast. Begin by crushing the remaining 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, then rub them all over the roast. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the pork until browned on all sides, 8–15 minutes.
Toss the potatoes and onions with 4 Tbsp. oil in a large roasting pan, Dutch oven, or on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper and set aside. Push the veggies up the sides of the Dutch oven and nestle the roast, fat side up (if it’s attached) in the middle. Tuck remaining 6 bay leaves under kitchen twine over top of pork. Wrap bone tips with foil to prevent burning.
Roast uncovered, turning the vegetables halfway through. When a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the roast registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the pork is done. It should take about 60–75 minutes
Remove the foil from the bones and transfer pork to a cutting board. Let the roast rest 30 minutes before slicing between ribs into chops. Serve the pork rib roast with roasted veggies, or mashed potatoes, and a side salad.
The pork can be brined 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
If you make this Apple Cider Brined Pork Rib Roast, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
Here’s the original Bon Appétit recipe for Cider Brined Pork Roast (Bon Appétit).
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt plus more
- 8 bay leaves, divided
- 3 Tablespoons coriander seeds, divided
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns plus more freshly ground
- 4 cups apple cider; unflitered
- 1 (6-8-bone; about 4-5 lb) pork loin roast; rib bones frenched, tied with kitchen twine
- 6 potatoes; peeled and quartered
- 6 shallots; peeled or 2 medium onions peeled and quartered
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- Bring brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt dissolve, about 4 minutes.
- Add 2 bay leaves, 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. peppercorns to the hot brine then transfer it to a large bowl. Pour in the cider and add in 2 cups ice. Let the brine cool to room temperature before using.
- Place pork in a large (2-gal.) resealable plastic bag. Pour in as much brine as you can and seal bag, forcing as much air out as you can. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove the pork from the brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
- Toss potatoes and onions with 4 Tbsp. oil in a large roasting pan, Dutch oven, or on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Crush the remaining 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds. Season pork with salt and pepper and rub all over with crushed coriander. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook pork until browned on all sides, 8–10 minutes.
- Remove pork from Dutch oven. Add in the potatoes and onions with 4 Tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss well.
- Push veggies up to the sides of the Dutch oven and nestle the roast in the middle. Tuck remaining 6 bay leaves under kitchen twine over top of pork. Wrap bone tips with foil to prevent burning.
- Roast, turning vegetables halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of pork registers 145° F, about 60–75 minutes.
- Remove foil from bones and transfer pork to a cutting board. Let the roast rest 30 minutes before slicing between ribs into chops.
- Serve with roasted veggies and a side salad.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 310Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 7585mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 5gSugar: 17gProtein: 6g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.