4 – 5 pound pork loin roast
6 cups water
⅓ cup salt
½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
8 sprigs of Thyme
8 garlic cloves

In a medium container combine all the above and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

Cherry Mostarda

2 teaspoons Olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 cup fennel bulb, finely diced
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 cup red wine
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup cherry puree (Can be bought on Amazon)
Pinch of black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground juniper berries
¼ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds ( recipe below)

Pickled Mustard Seeds

½ cup mustard seeds, any color is fine, we used yellow
¾ cup water
¾ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Recipe Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

5 ½ cups water
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch baking soda
1 ½ cups course ground polenta
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces grated parmesan


Pork Loin

Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil. Stir until dissolved, then add remaining ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature. Once the solution has completely cooled add the pork loin and refrigerate at least overnight but up to 48 hours.
Preheat oven to 325°
Remove pork from brine, pat dry, and season all sides with salt and black pepper.
Heat vegetable oil in an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Cook pork, turning to brown each side, about 10 minutes total.
Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until pork is browned, about 50 to 65 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140°. Let pork roast rest for 10 minutes lightly covered with foil.

Cherry Mostarda

In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, sauté shallot, fennel, and salt in olive oil until soft about 5 minutes. Add cherries, red wine, and red wine vinegar, continue to cook over medium heat until reduced to a thick consistency, 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Then add cherry puree, pepper, juniper berries, and coriander. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Remove from heat then add, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard, and 3 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds.

Pickled Mustard Seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.


Bring water and cream to boil (Watch closely as it will boil over if unattended) in heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in salt and baking soda. Slowly pour polenta into water in steady stream, while stirring back and forth with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover.
After 5 minutes, whisk polenta to smooth out any lumps that may have formed, about 15 seconds. (Make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of pan.) Cover and continue to cook, without stirring, until grains of polenta are tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes longer. (Polenta should be loose and barely hold its shape but will continue to thicken as it cools.)
Remove from heat, stir in butter and Parmesan, and season to taste with black pepper. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Serve, passing Parmesan separately.

Courtesy of Mark Caldwell, Executive Chef Davis Estates