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Cider Brined Grilled Pork with Pickled Apples

Slofoodgroup Team September 16, 2020

Sweet & Savory Grilled Pork, Brined in Cider and Served with Quick-Pickled Apples

Grilling season might be on its way out, but there's still time to test new recipes before the weather turns. Smokey, grilled meats are actually very well complemented by some of those ingredients that don't ripen until late-summer or early-autumn—ingredients like apples! For this particular recipe, we've pickled them for a little tanginess that will shock your senses a bit, and we've used the tender neck pork steak, brined in a spiced cider for an incredibly juicy end result. You can really use any cut of pork but we strongly recommend you go for a fattier cut like the neck because it produces a tender, melt-in-your-mouth entree.

It's no secret that apples and pork go wonderfully together, but it also asks for cloves to match. So brining it in a spiced apple cider provides a welcome flavor that pairs incredibly well with the clove pickled apples. Plus, the extra juiciness and tanginess you'll get from the fruit work well to balance the fattiness of the pork.

Spiced Cider Grilled Pork Neck with Pickled Apples

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15‘

Cooking Time: 20’

Additional Time: 12h



For the pickled apples:

  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5-7 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 large apple, sliced
  • 1 chilli, seeded and thinly sliced

For the brine:

  • 1 cup cider
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 Pork neck steaks

 Cooking instructions:

  1. Start by making the pickled apples; to a saucepan, bring together the water and vinegar, sugar, cloves, coriander, and salt; bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved completely; add the sliced apple and chilli to a jar and pour the water-vinegar mixture over top; cover with the lid and allow to pickle on the kitchen counter for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days on the kitchen counter.
  2. To make the brine, dissolve the salt into the water, add the cider and spices together with the crushed garlic and bay leaf and mix well; bring the pork neck in and submerge in the marinade; cover and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  3. Take the meat out 1 hour prior to when you plan on grilling it, allowing it to reach room temperature;
  4. Heat up the grill to 180C/362F and cook on indirect heat, covered for 10 min each side.
  5. Allow the pork to rest for about 5 minutes to seal the juices, top with the pickled apples, and serve alongside grilled veggies, a simple salad, roasted potatoes, or rice. 

Make sure you are using high-quality, whole cloves when pickling your apples. They add so much flavor and complements the pork beautifully!