Slow Cooker Week: Pork Loin with Cranberries and Orange

We’re declaring this week “Slow Cooker Week,” in honor of our brand new Slow Cooker Revolution Cookbook. We’ll be sharing slow cooker tips, recipes from the book, and behind-the-scenes photographs of our “Slow Cooker Wall.” Today’s recipe: Pork Loin with Cranberries and Orange.

Pork Loin with Cranberries and Orange from Slow Cooker Revolution
Serves 6  
Cooking Time: about 4 hours on Low

Why this recipe works: Whether you’re cooking a pork loin in the oven or the slow cooker, pairing the lean meat with a glaze or a sauce gives it a lot more appeal. Here we followed the cooking method we established with our Maple-Glazed Pork Loin, pairing it with both dried cranberries and whole canned cranberries. Cinnamon, orange juice, and orange zest livened up our easy-to-make sauce, which goes directly into the slow cooker. When choosing a pork loin, we prefer the blade-end—be sure to choose a fatter, shorter loin over the longer, skinnier ones.

  • 1    (4 1/2- to 5‑pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and tied at 1‑inch intervals
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1    tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1    (14‑ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2    cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2    cup orange juice
  • 3    (3‑inch-long) strips orange zest, trimmed of white pith
  • 1/8    teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Dry pork with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12‑inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown pork well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Stir cranberry sauce, cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, and cinnamon into slow cooker. Nestle browned pork into slow cooker. Cover and cook until pork is tender and registers 140 to 145 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 4 hours on low.

3. Transfer pork to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard orange zest. Transfer braising liquid to saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove twine from pork, slice into 1/2‑inch-thick slices, and arrange on serving platter. Spoon 1 cup sauce over meat and serve with remaining sauce.

Smart Shopping: Buying Pork Loin Roasts
Buying the right pork loin will make all the difference in these slow-cooker recipes. Look for a 4 1/2- to 5‑pound pork loin roast that is wide and short and steer clear from those that are long and narrow. Narrow pork loins don’t fit as easily into the slow cooker and are prone to overcooking because they cook through more quickly.

It took 1 year, 1,500 recipes and $20,000 of groceries to produce our newest book,  Slow Cooker Revolution. See our behind-the-scenes photos.

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