HOLIDAY BRINE & GLAZE RECIPES
Recipes excerpted from “Marinades, Rubs, Brines Cures and Glazes” by Jim Tarantino
APPLE CIDER BRINE
Makes 9 cups for about 3 to 4 pounds of any of the following food in the timetable below.
Chicken breasts, kabobs, Cornish hens, or quail: 6 hours
Chicken wings, thighs, legs, whole chicken, or rabbit: 8 to 12 hours
Turkey breast: 12 to 24 hours
Whole turkey, 12 to 16 pounds: 12 to 24 hours
Whole turkey, 17 pounds and over: 12 to 48 hours
Pork tenderloin, chops, or kabobs: 6 to 8 hours
Pork shoulder, baby back ribs, or spareribs: 8 to 12 hours
Depending on how much you like apple cider you can tag team this brine with the Apple Cider Marinade for the grill or for a formal fall sit-down dinner. Brining a turkey breast and smoking it over apple wood is true autumn bliss. This recipe can be scaled up.
- 8 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, ground
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
Combine 1 cup of the cider, the onion, and the garlic in a blender or a food processor and process until blended. Combine the cider purée, the remaining 7 cups cider, peppercorns, rosemary, ground mustard, bay leaf, and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to infuse the ingredients. Stir in the honey, brown sugar, and salt to dissolve. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow the brine to cool completely, remove the bay leaf, and then refrigerate to 40°F before adding the meat or fish.
CRANBERRY CASSIS GLAZE
Makes 1 1/4 cups
Salmon steaks or fillets, shrimp, chicken breasts or kabobs, turkey breast, duck breast, quail, pork tenderloin, pork chops, baby back ribs, or spareribs: baste during the last 5 minutes of cooking
Instead of adding sugar directly to this recipe, we’re pulling it out of the caramelized shallots, which offset the sourness of the cranberries. Whether you use this on grilled pork chops, barbecued spareribs, or smoked pork tenderloin, the flavor is sublime. The yield for this glaze is just right for a whole turkey.
- 1 tablespoon Canola oil, for cooking
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup crème de cassis
- 1/2 cup red-currant jelly
- 1 teaspoon coarse-grain salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (about 4 or 5 turns on a peppermill)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider or cider vinegar, if needed
In a nonreactive saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the sage leaves and juniper berries, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cranberries, maple syrup, cassis, jelly, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the cranberries are soft and starting to burst, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool the cranberry mixture to room temperature and place in a food processor. Process until smooth. Strain the purée through a fine sieve and return the glaze to the saucepan.
Simmer gently over medium heat until it has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes; you should have about 11/4 cups. If the glaze seems too thick, thin it with a little apple cider or cider vinegar. Cool the glaze, store it in a clean, airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use. The glaze can be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator or freezer for 3 weeks. To use the glaze after refrigerating, warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
SOUTHERN COMFORT HONEY-GLAZED HAM
Serves 8 as a main course or 10 to 12 as part of a buffet
Glazed ham is among the aristocracy of pork recipes. It’s centerpiece cuisine for holidays and special occasions, and eating breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a side of Southern glazed ham is about as special as it gets. The glaze can work without the Southern Comfort or with a bourbon substitute. I’ve included two different versions of this recipe for both uncooked and precooked or smoked ham. Adding your own glaze to a precooked or smoked ham is the quickest and most flavorful way to fill out a picnic or buffet when time is at a premium. If using a precooked ham, check that the label says, “Fully cooked.”
- 1 (about 6 pounds) uncooked or precooked ham
- 1 cup Southern Comfort Honey Mustard Glaze
If using an uncooked ham, preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the ham, fat side up, on a large piece of foil in a large roasting pan. Warm the glaze and brush about half of it over the ham. Wrap aluminum foil loosely around the ham and bake for about 3 hours, or about 30 minutes per pound.
About 30 minutes before the ham is done, remove it from the oven. Increase the heat to 400°F. Score the glazed ham in a diamond crisscross pattern, cutting about 1/4 inch deep into the fat. Spoon the remaining glaze over the ham and return it to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes, basting the glazed ham several times. A meat thermometer should register 160°F and the ham should be dark brown and crusty; cook for 15 minutes more, if necessary.
If using a precooked ham, preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat the ham for 20 minutes per pound, or to an internal temperature of 140°F. Brush the glaze over the ham about 20 minutes before it is done.
To serve, remove the ham from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a serving platter, and let stand for 30 minutes before carving.
SOUTHERN COMFORT HONEY MUSTARD GLAZE
Makes 2 cups
Timetable: Shrimp, chicken wings, pork chops or cutlets, baby back ribs, or spareribs: baste during the last 5 minutes of cooking
You can swap out parts and customize this glaze to your palette’s content. The sweet flavors of maple syrup and bourbon are gently tempered by orange so that the glaze doesn’t taste overly sweet, but instead deep and savory.
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup Southern Comfort whiskey
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- Grated zest and juice of 3-4 juice oranges (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 cup honey mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg for the cayenne
- 1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce
In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, add the maple syrup, bourbon, vinegar, orange zest and juice, brown sugar, mustard, nutmeg, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup. Cool the glaze, store in a clean, airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use. The glaze can be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. To use the glaze after refrigerating, warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally.