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Recipe for traditional Hungarian/European Smoked Pork Brine?


Joined Nov 21, 2020
Picked up some spare ribs . Plan is to smoke them after brining. Does anyone have a good brine recipe for simple "European" style (lacks overwhelming amount of sugar) brine? Not trying to having it taste like a sweet ham.

chef jimmyj

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Welcome to you both...MJP, you are in charge and can add or delete any ingredient from any Brine Recipe you like. Too much Sugar, reduce or skip it altogether. But Caution, Sugar Balances Saltiness and adds Flavor...JJ


1 Quart of Water
2 Pounds of ICE
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cure #1, for Hammy Flavor and Pink Color. OPTIONAL.

Brine Spice and Rub

2 Tbs Black Peppercorns
2Tbs Juniper Berries
10 each Lrg Bay Leaves, crumbled.
2 Tbs Granulated Garlic
2 Tbs Granulated Onion
2 Tbs Coriander Seed
2 Tbs Dry Marjoram
1 Tbs Mustard Seed
1 teaspoon Fresh Grated Nutmeg

1/2 Cup Hungarian Paprika, Optional.

NOTE: If NOT BRINING, add 2 Tbs Kosher Salt to the Rub before adding to Meat.

Combine, Grind until quite fine, or as desired, and Divide in Half. Add Half the spices to the 1 Quart of water in a pot. Add the Salt and Sugar to the water and Spices. Bring to a Simmer to dissolve Sugar and Salt. Remove from heat, add the 2 Pounds of Ice and Stir to Cool the Brine. Add the Cure #1, if using, and Cool completely.
Cover the Ribs or Pork Chops in Brine, Refrigerate and Soak, 24 to 48 hours.

Remove meat, rinse and dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with remaining Rub, as desired. Smoke Ribs at 225 for 6 to 7 hours or until a Bamboo Skewer slides in with no resistance.
For Pork Chops, Smoke at 225, until the Internal Temp (IT) reaches 140°F and serve.

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