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Thread: A brine for a bone in pork rib chop

  1. #1
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    A brine for a bone in pork rib chop

    So, i picked up the above and am planning on cooking it in a water bath for 4 hrs at 140 with some sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and then finishing it in peanut oil. I'm looking for a brine and was thinking of salt, garlic, crushed juniper berries, peppercorns but need help with ratios or other, better options.
    A side sauce of apricots and dates is part of the plan.

    Any ideas are welcome, including constructive criticism.

  2. #2
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    I must say that for reasons of food safety, I prefer my pork to be 70-75 celcius (about 160-170 I think), although the temp at which parasites are killed probably does depend on duration of exposure, so it may be OK.

    FWIW, I'm not not a pro chef but I do have a fairly solid grounding in microbiology.
    "My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell my knives for what I told her they are worth"

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    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    You absolutely can kill pathogens at lower temperatures. It just takes longer. 140 is fine. For the brine I just use water salt and brown sugar.
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    Nemo, take a look at Douglas Baldwin's Guide to Sous Vide:
    http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html

    Bill, for brining, additional spices/aromatics don't enter the tissue, it's just the salt/water. I'd brine with salt and then sous vide with the additional flavors. If you do some googling you can see the science/experiments people have done to show that the other flavor molecules are generally too large to pass into the meat (with some exceptions like cloves).

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    Thanks strumke, that's an interesting resource and I'll definitely have a closer look at it when I get a chance.

    My main concern with pork is not pathogenic bacteria which are present on the surface of most meat (as reference in Baldwin's article), it is with a couple of parasites that are common within the flesh of pork, which are not as common in other farmed meats.

    Looking at the recommendations of various government bodies in various countries, it seems that the 71 celsius recommendation allows a fairly wide safety margin to allow for cooking methods which produce variable heating (indeed, there was one recommendation that 145f was adequate). I agree that this is unlikely to be required in Sous Vide, especially with a 4 hour cook, so I suspect that in I may well be being over-cautious as ThEoRy has suggested.

    On the marinading/ brining, I thought that Heston did some experiments showing that brining did allow marinade molecules to penetrate the surface to an extent. However, I could definitely be wrong about this (as well).
    "My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell my knives for what I told her they are worth"

  6. #6
    Senior Member wellminded1's Avatar
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    3.5% salt to water weight, aromatics and you are good to go. We cook at 57c and then a nice hard sear or quick roast.

  7. #7
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    SV pork likes 140F. A lot.

    I don't have references with me (holidays) but recall that salt weight should be 5% of product weight for osmosis to happen. Water to cover. Additional flavorings as desired. I like "raw" sugar and black peppercorns rough crushed, mustard seed and whatever else is handy.
    Older and wider..

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone, 5% sounds good as I have a salt tooth. If I have the containers maybe I'll do 1/2 with the extra aromatics and 1/2 just with salt and sugar.

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    On the subject of safety in pork, one of the benefits of modern factory farming in the US is that trichinosis is no longer a threat. Back in the days when hogs were allowed to wallow in mud, they could pick up that pathogen from the soil. Now that they're raised on concrete, with more antibiotics than food in their food, the only thing to fear from pork is whatever was on the butcher's hands when the meat was packed. I'm not really surprised that the FDA still recommends 160-170F, but even when trichinosis was an issue, it was completely eliminated by the time the temperature reached 153F.

    But, it's not an issue in the US, any more, so enjoy your pork cooked to medium or medium rare. No more shoe leather chops! THIS MAY NOT APPLY TO THOSE OF YOU IN OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE FARMING IS MORE HUMANE.

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    Oh really???!!!!!!! I should try the pork in us now. I never eat medium or medium rare pork. Lol

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