You can use your brine to preserve many of the meats you will use in this book, e.g., pork belly, beef brisket, bottom round, or ox tongue. Some recommend salt-peter instead of sea salt; I always feel it is a little too ferocious, and as a result am aware of it at the eating stage.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
One Pot MealYes
Taste and Texturesalty, spiced, sweet
- 2 cups superfine (caster) sugar (many suggest brown sugar, but not me)
- 2¼ cups coarse sea salt
- 12 juniper berries
- 12 cloves
- 12 black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 quarts water
Bring all the brine ingredients together in a pot, and bring to a boil so the sugar and salt melt. Decant into a container and allow to cool. When cold add your meat, and leave it in the brine for the number of days required for your recipe.
Even though the brine is a preserving process, we are celebrating its flavor-enhancing properties, so just in case in these somewhat bacterially anxious days it is probably not bad thing to keep your brine and its contents in the fridge.
2004 Fergus Henderson