So our tailgate season is coming to an end (ugh). I have had the best time this year and gotten to meet so many wonderful people. Our tailgates are becoming a thing of lore, the kind of occasion one tells their kids about. But wait folks we aren’t done just yet! This week we have the Seattle Seahawks coming to town and I have something special in mind for the menu. I thought of a couple Seattle based recipes but could never come up with one I liked the most. So I decided to do a “Best of the Tailgate” edition in my recipe this week. On and off through the year I have been making my pork loin in a couple different ways. The one I fell in love with is my Apple Pork Loin. This is the perfect recipe for a Christmas game as it just screams holiday. In fact I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. It has a sweet flavor with just a little kick. So finally if you are tired of screaming kids and nagging family come to the tailgate and get you some!
- 6-8 lb whole pork loin
- Your favorite BBQ Rub (I prefer an Apple Wood rub found at most supermarkets)
- Apple BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
- 8 cups apple juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
Apple BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 apple diced
- 1/3 cup molasses
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a large stock pot, bring all brine ingredients to a boil and stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a 1-gallon plastic container and refrigerate until completely cooled. Reserve about 1 cup of the brine in a spray bottle for later use. Once the brine has cooled completely, add the loin for at least 6 but no more than 12 hours. Remove the loin from brine and coat with the BBQ rub (I prefer homemade, but any store bought will work).
Heat your grill to medium heat. Place the loin on the grill and grill for 30 minutes. Make sure to spray the loin with the reserved brine every 10 minutes to keep it from drying out. After 30 minutes slice the loin length ways to make a cavity. Do not slice all the way through. Poor some of the Apple BBQ sauce into the cavity. Grill for another 30 minutes continuing to mist with the reserved brine. Pull the loin off the grill and slice into medallions and then poor the rest of the BBQ sauce over the slices.
For the Apple BBQ Sauce:
In a medium saucepan add all ingredients and heat gradually bringing to a boil over medium heat. Stir and simmer on low until the sauce is thick and flavorful about 40 minutes. Finally adjust seasoning to taste then puree mixture with stick blender or put in a regular blender until smooth and thick.
*This recipe yields 10-12 servings. Make sure you increase all amounts equally when tailgating with more friends.
Tailgate with Attitude!