What started as just a way to use up leftover apple butter ended with one downright delicious piece of pork.
- For the Brine
- 2 quarts apple cider, divided
- 2/3 cup Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 boneless pork loin, about 3 lbs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup apple butter, plus more for serving
- Type of fire: two-zone indirect
- Grill heat: high
To make the brine, place 1 quart apple cider, 1/3 cup salt, brown sugar, onion, cloves, allspice, garlic, bay lead, peppercorn in a medium saucepan. Squeeze orange quarters into brine and drop in peel. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 1 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Pour brine into a large container, add remaining 1 quart of apple cider, and place in refrigerator until chilled completely. Submerge pork loin completely in brine and set back in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. While fire is lighting, remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sear pork over hot side of grill until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Move pork to cool side of the grill and spread with apple butter all over. Cover grill and and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 140 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the pork loin, 15 to 30 minutes longer. Remove from grill, let stand for 15 minutes; slice and serve with additional apple butter.