Oktoberfest celebrations are upon us. If you join the merry men and women spending their weekends of this month drinking lager while strapped into a pair of lederhosen, you are more than likely to find yourself dining some dishes featuring pork. From the barnyard beast the pig, its meat is well appreciated by the Germans, and for good reason. Pork is delicious.
We want you to appreciate it too. That is why we want to share with you our succulent smoked pork loin recipe. The results should be savoury, juicy, and smoked into a pleasingly tender hunk of mellow sweetness. In the German language, smoked pork is kassler. The cut of the animal is normally the loin, however necks, ribs, and shoulders can also be prepared under the same name.
For the brine, you’re going to need kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper seeds and dried juniper berries. Other elements can be included, but these four ingredients combined make for a traditional German flavour. Crush the pepper and juniper berries and mix it in with the salt and sugar for a rub. Apply the rub liberally all over your cut of pork. Place the pork into a sealable plastic bag and let it cure for two days in a fridge. Remember to turn the bag over a few times as the rub draws moisture out of the meat. The juices will cure the pork further, tenderising the meat until it is supple. Once cured, rinse the pork and let it dry in your fridge for another day.
Now it’s time to fire up the smoker. The Germans are renowned for their use of beechwood when smoking. The native hardwood is light and mild, providing a nutty flavour that compliments swine and poultry. However, if the beechwood is unavailable. Alder and oak are more than agreeable.
Once smoking, low and slow is obviously what we recommend. The smoker should be already radiating at 110 degrees when you place the loin on the grill. Let the wood chips smoulder over the specimen, and impart their distinctly light and smooth smoke. Depending on its size, six to eight hours is the amount of time you should allow this porker to sit in the smoker. The results will be absolutely worth the wait. At 75 degrees internal, the proud piece of pork should be moist, tender and magnificently sweet.
For those who want to respect German cuisine, add sauerkraut to the plate beside the smoked pork. The acidity of the pickled cabbage balances the sweet pork for a well rounded, traditional dish.