I love to use dry rubs on meats and fish, so am always eager to try new recipes. This dry rub, from Portland, Oregon Chef John Eisenhart, is just the thing for an autumn pork roast – an end of season grill opportunity. In addition to being an incredible rub, it has the added advantage in that it uses a marvelous wine reduction! Don’t be afraid to experiment with the rub – try a red wine for steaks or ribs, or add a little coriander seed for grilled lamb.
2 cups Occasio Pinot Gris
3/4 cup coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, about 8 stripped sprigs
2 strips lemon zest, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 (3 ½ -pound) center-cut boneless pork loin, patted dry
1. Simmer wine in a saucepan on medium heat until it is reduced by half, 20 to 30 minutes; adjust heat to low and continue to cook down to 2 tablespoons. Cool completely.
2. In a food processor, combine the salt, thyme leaves, lemon zest (any other spices), and the wine reduction. Pulse until mixed. Add sugar and pulse again until mixture has the consistency of damp sand. If your mixture is too moist, spread it evenly on a sheet pan and leave it out on the counter for several hours or overnight.
3. Place pork in a baking pan. Spread about 1/2 cup of the salt rub all over the pork (reserving the remaining rub for another use; it will keep for a month in the fridge). Cover tightly the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. Light the grill for high-heat indirect cooking, piling charcoal on one side of the grill and leaving other side unlighted. (For gas grills, turn on heat on one side of the grill only.) Spread a piece of foil or place a disposable metal roasting pan underneath grill on the unlighted side to catch any drips. Place pork on the unlighted side grill, over the foil. Cover grill and cook, turning every half hour until meat reaches 140 degrees, from 1 hour to 90 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before carving.
YIELDS 8 to 10 servings