Bacon-Wrapped Pork Kebabs
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 cups ice cubes
- 16 to 20-ounce trimmed pork tenderloin or pork loin, cut into 24 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound whole slab apple-wood smoked bacon, chilled
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil, for brushing grill
- Orange Honey Mustard Sauce, recipe follows
- Orange Honey Mustard Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
- 1/4 cup country Dijon mustard
Special equipment: six 8-inch skewers
For the brine: Combine salt, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and once everything has dissolved remove from heat. Add ice cubes to cool down and set aside.
For the pork: Place the pork cubes in the cooled brine and set in the fridge for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into six 1/2-inch-thick slices, about 2 1/2-ounces each. Set a large pot of cold water over high heat and add the bacon slices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Drain pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Working with one skewer at a time, thread the bacon at one end followed by a piece of pork. Loop the bacon over the pork so it forms an "S" shape around the pork and continue to thread the bacon and pork together so each skewer has 4 pieces of pork and one thick strip of bacon on it. Sprinkle all with the seasoning mixture.
Heat a grill to medium and wipe down grates with oil. Place pork kebabs across grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each of four sides until bacon is crisped around edges and pork is a tender medium. Once the pieces have been seared, glaze the kebabs with the Orange Honey Mustard.Orange Honey Mustard Sauce:
Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and saute until softened. Add the orange juice, honey and mustard, whisking to thoroughly combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir well, remove from heat, and keep warm until ready to use.
Chilling the bacon makes it easier to slice. Boiling the bacon prior to grilling renders some of the fat (preventing flare-ups). It also par-cooks the bacon, ensuring it crisps up nicely on the grill.
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