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You Asked For It: Roast Pork With Cardamom Mushroom Sauce Brine

I would like a recipe for a roast pork with cardamom. Thank you.

Barbara McDivitt, Dunedin

Katharine Tapp of Oldsmar shared a recipe she hopes Barbara will enjoy. Cardamom is earthy in flavor with a hint of sweet. It's often used in Indian, Scandinavian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Brining the pork keeps it moist and adds some flavor. This is a very savory dish between the brining, garlic onion paste and cardamom. You do need to plan ahead to chill the brine and then brine the roast for 24 hours. You could certainly do much of the prep work in advance, even making the paste and refrigerating it until you need to use it. With much of the prep work done, this would be an easy dish to prepare after work.

Serve with a vegetable, roasted or mashed potatoes and a crusty roll to get every drop of the sauce. It's important to note that cardamom, an Indian herb in the ginger family, is a very expensive spice. I found it in the range of $9 to $13 for a jar.

Recipe request

This time, it's not a reader sending out an SOS, it's the Taste staff. We're setting the picnic table for our special Barbecue Issue, which will come out just in time for Memorial Day, and we need your help. Do you have a scrumptious side dish that knocks family picnics out of the park (or gets you knocked out of the park if you fail to bring it)? Tell us about it. Maybe we can help spread your alfresco fame across the entire bay area.

Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email youaskedforit@tampabay.rr.com. Include your name, city and phone number.

>>MODERATE

Roast Pork With Cardamom

Mushroom Sauce Brine

3/4 cup coarse kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 gallon cold water

1 tablespoon pepper

4-pound center-cut boneless pork loin roast

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium-sized onions), divided

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided

1 large garlic clove

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced

2 cups chicken broth, divided

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

To make the brine, dissolve the salt and sugar into the boiling water. Add it to the cold water. Add the pepper and stir to combine. Chill the brine completely in the refrigerator before adding it to the pork. Submerge pork in the brine solution and chill for 24 hours. (A thick, gallon-sized freezer bag is great for brining, and if you use one, you probably only need half as much brine solution.) Even if you are using a bag, place it in a bowl just in case it leaks. Rinse the roast thoroughly of the brine solution before cooking, then pat dry.

For the roast, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Puree 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cardamom and garlic in a food processor or blender.

Spread another 1/2 cup chopped onion in center of large roasting pan; lay roast on top. Sprinkle pork generously with salt and pepper; coat with onion puree.

Combine mushrooms, remaining 1/2 cup onion and 4 tablespoons olive oil in bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper; arrange around pork.

Roast pork 1 hour. Remove the mushrooms, placing them into a large saucepan. Add 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water to roasting pan and return it to oven. Continue roasting, about 20 minutes longer, until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 145 degrees. Transfer pork to platter; tent with foil.

Scrape the juices from the roasting pan into the saucepan with the mushrooms. Add the cream, remaining cup of broth and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom to pan; bring to boil. Blend flour and butter in small cup; mix into mushroom sauce. Cook sauce, stirring often, until reduced enough to coat spoon. Season sauce with salt and pepper; serve with pork.

Serves 8.

Source: Katharine Tapp, Oldsmar

You Asked For It: Roast Pork With Cardamom Mushroom Sauce Brine 04/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 4:30am]
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