Turkey: Mark Peel's Brine

posted by Mimi Hiller 09-05-100 3:07 PM

Mark Peel's Brine

This recipe, inspired by one of Jeremiah Towers', is enough for a 12- to 14-pound turkey. The spicing is very faint, mostly you taste the salt and a bit of the sugar. It's a bit like a very elegant version of commercial smoked turkey, only without the smoke. Peel also uses this recipe for roast pork and smoked fish. For a pork loin, cut all of the amounts by half; for fish or chops, cut them to 1/4.

2/3 cup salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup black pepper, cracked
Pinch dried thyme
13 cloves
13 allspice, cracked
3 bay leaves
13 juniper berries, crushed

Combine salt, sugar, pepper, thyme, cloves, allspice, bay leaves and juniper berries in saucepan. Add 1 quart water and bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes, then add to 1 gallon cold water. Chill thoroughly before using brine.

Makes about 1 1/4 gallons brine (enough for 12- to 14-pound turkey).

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