Friday, October 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Cranberry Orange Sauce

One of my good friends told me about this fantastic recipe. He had seen it on an episode of America's Test Kitchen and you can find the original recipe here. I love to cook and experiment with food, so I decided to try it out. I love pork loin, and what better way to eat some than with a brand new recipe!

What you will need:

  • 1 14 ounce can of whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 strips of orange zest, with the pith removed
  • 4 to 5 pound pork loin
  • cooking spray, olive, or vegetable oil
This recipe is ridiculously simple. Your first step is to stir together the cranberry sauce, juice, dried cranberries, and cinnamon in your slow cooker. Add the strips of orange zest on top. To make the orange zest, just use a vegetable peeler and slice a strip approximately 3 inches long. Try not to cut too deep as the white part between the orange and the skin, also called the pith, is very bitter. 
Then get a large skillet and lightly spray with oil. (I just used a stir-fry pan because I don't have a flat skillet. I know, I know. Being the cook I am, I need to get with the program.) Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the surface of the meat and rub it in. Brown the pork loin about 3-5 minutes on each side on medium to high heat. Browning enhances the flavor!
 Now to the easy part! Put the meat on top of the cranberry orange sauce and set to low for 4 hours... and wait.
After 4 hours are up, remove the meat from the slow cooker, set on a platter or cutting board, and tent with foil. Wait around 10 minutes for the meat to rest.

For the sauce, wait for about 5 minutes for it to settle and the fat to rise to the top. Spoon the fat off the top with a spoon. Remove the pieces of orange zest and throw away. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and simmer for around 10-12 minutes, reducing it down to around 2 cups.

Slice the pork and serve with the sauce! Bon appetite!

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