This tender, flavorful Cranberry Pork Roast is super easy to prepare, yet looks and tastes like a gourmet meal. A holiday winner!
Sometimes you want something other than turkey for your holiday dinner, and for those times, this cranberry pork roast is perfect. Still elegant and impressive, but very little effort required.
Succulent and savory, tender and flavorful, this cranberry pork roast is a must! With a homemade cranberry sauce, this pork roast will make you look like a gourmet cook in your kitchen!
PORK LOIN VS PORK TENDERLOIN
Pork loin and tenderloin while often mistaken as the same meat, they are in fact, quite different. They do not come from the same part of the animal and actually look quite different.
Pork loin comes from the back and it’s generally bigger than a tenderloin. Sometimes it’s referred to as center cut pork loin roast, pork center loin roast, pork center cut rib roast, among other names. It usually is a larger piece of meat, and can be anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds.
Pork tenderloin, also known as pork filet or pork tender, comes from the muscle that runs alongside the backbone. Pork tenderloin is usually boneless while pork loin can be both boneless and with bone-in. Tenderloin usually averages about one pound per piece.
For this recipe I recommend using a pork loin because they tend to cook differently and a tenderloin is much smaller in size.
TIPS FOR MAKING PORK ROAST
Always trim and season the pork loin. Trim any loose pieces of fat, but leave the fat cap in place. Season the pork loin generously, with herbs such as thyme, rosemary and lots of salt and pepper.
Brown the pork loin in a large cast iron skillet until it has a nice golden brown crust. Make sure you get a nice deep color before turning. If your try and turn the meat and it sticks, wait another minute or so before trying again. The meat will release from the pan easily when ready.
The key to juicy pork is to not over cook it. Always use an instant read thermometer and when the it registers 145 to 160 F degrees, it’s done. The recommended time is 8 to 11 minutes per pound.
Always rest your pork loin for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into it. Resting is important as it allows the juices in the outside of the meat to settle back into the middle, making it juicier and easier to carve.
HOW TO SERVE CRANBERRY PORK ROAST
This cranberry pork roast is wonderful because it’s so versatile and really goes with a number of side dishes. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it:
- Mashed Potatoes
- White Beans with Bacon and Herbs
- Harvest Rice
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Old Fashioned Green Beans
- Brandy Glazed Carrots
CRAVING MORE PORK RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Rosemary Garlic Pork Roast
- Pan Seared Pork Chops with Gravy
- Pork Schnitzel
- Perfect Pulled Pork
- Crockpot Pork Carnitas
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Cranberry Pork Roast
- Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees and arrange the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Drizzle the olive oil all over the pork loin. Season with thyme, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper on all sides evenly.
- Heat a large 12 inch cast iron pan with a little bit of olive oil, then brown the pork on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Sear until it's a deep golden brown and easily releases from the pan. Remove from heat.
- Drizzle honey on all sides of the pork loin then grate some orange zest over it.
- Cover with aluminum foil, transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and finish roasting for another 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads anywhere from 145 to 160 F degrees.
- Meanwhile prepare the cranberry sauce. I used my own cranberry sauce recipe, however, store bought cranberry sauce will work as well.
- Transfer the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into it.
- Slice then top with cranberry sauce before serving it.
- The best way to tell when your pork is done is to take its internal temperature using a meat thermometer that's inserted in the center part of the pork and the temperature reads at least 145F/62.8C to 155F/68.3C.
- If you don't own a meat thermometer, pierce the pork in the middle with a fork and if the juices run clear, the meat is done.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.