Main Dish · Pork · Slow Cooker

Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast

Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast

So, you made Homemade Cranberry Sauce; now what? You could just eat it, of course. If that’s the case, then make a double batch, because you’re going to want to make this pork roast! Not only does the slow cooker do its magic on the pork, it also mellows the cranberry & orange flavors until they are smooth & completely melded. Delicious!

I’ll warn you right up front: This is not one of those slow cooker recipes that you can throw together in the morning, go off to work all day, & come home to dinner. It really only needs 3 hours on low. However, it’s ideal for when you have company coming & don’t want to be in the kitchen while everyone else scarfs down the wine & hors d’oeuvres, or for a weekend day when you just want to curl up with a good book & mug of hot chocolate by the fire before dinner. 

You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

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1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 – 4 lbs.

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

12 ounces (about ¾ of a batch) homemade cranberry sauce

½ cup dried cranberries

1 – 2 oranges

⅛ tsp cinnamon

Preparation:

1.) Dust the pork roast with salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add the pork, and brown it on all sides.

2.) While pork is browning, peel 3 strips of zest from one of the oranges. You just want the top layer, avoiding the white pith beneath. Then halve the orange and juice it. You’ll need ½ cup of juice. If you can get it all from 1 orange, then you get to eat the other one! Otherwise, juice the 2nd orange to make up the difference.

3.) Combine cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon in the bottom of your slow cooker pot.

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4.) When pork is finished browning, about 5 – 10 minutes, move it to the slow cooker pot & nestle it into the mixture. Use a tiny bit of water if needed to scrape up any brown bits from the skillet, and add the pan juices to the pot. Set the slow cooker for 3 hours on low. Pork is done when a meat thermometer in the center reads 145°F. If it’s not quite there yet, put the lid back on & give it some more time until it’s done.

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You do know that pink in the center of pork is okay now, right? Back in the day, pork had to be cooked well-done (160°F, a.k.a. shoe leather), but the revised FDA guidelines say 145°F is just as safe, so long as you have at least a 3 minute rest time after cooking & before serving. Hooray! It’s only 15°, but that makes a huge difference in the tenderness & juiciness of the meat.

5.) When the pork is done, move it to a platter & tent it with foil. Let it rest 5 – 10 minutes while you finish up the sauce.

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foil tent

6.) Discard the orange zest, pour the liquid into a saucepan and simmer it several minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups.

7.) Slice the pork about ½” thick and pour half of the sauce over it. Serve with the rest of the sauce.

Nutrition information assumes a 3 lb roast.

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Adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution, by The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, 2011. It’s a great book, you really should go buy yourself a copy!

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast


Ingredients


1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 – 4 lbs.
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
12 ounces (about ¾ of a batch) homemade cranberry sauce
½ cup dried cranberries
1 – 2 oranges
⅛ tsp cinnamon

Directions


1.) Dust the pork roast with salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add the pork, and brown it on all sides.
2.) While pork is browning, peel 3 strips of zest from one of the oranges. You just want the top layer, avoiding the white pith beneath. Then halve the orange and juice it. You’ll need ½ cup of juice. If you can get it all from 1 orange, then you get to eat the other one! Otherwise, juice the 2nd orange to make up the difference.
3.) Combine cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon in the bottom of your slow cooker pot.
4.) When pork is finished browning, about 5 – 10 minutes, move it to the slow cooker pot & nestle it into the mixture. Use a tiny bit of water if needed to scrape up any brown bits from the skillet, and add the pan juices to the pot. Set the slow cooker for 3 hours on low. Pork is done when a meat thermometer in the center reads 145°F. If it’s not quite there yet, put the lid back on & give it some more time until it’s done.
5.) When the pork is done, move it to a platter & tent it with foil. Let it rest 5 – 10 minutes while you finish up the sauce.
6.) Discard the orange zest, pour the liquid into a saucepan and simmer it several minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups.
7.) Slice the pork about ½” thick and pour half of the sauce over it. Serve with the rest of the sauce.

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