Pretty enough for guests but easy enough for a weeknight – that's this cranberry pork roast.
There's a huge amount of recipes during the holidays that require a lot of effort. Generally, I think it’s worth it to spend the effort to make a great meal.
At the same time, it’s helpful to have some hands-off recipes at the ready that you can whip up and serve to impress, but aren’t actually that much work. The slow cooker is a great tool for these kinds of meals!
This delicious, savory and juicy pork roast is slow cooked in a slightly sweet cranberry sauce that really brings out the flavors of the holidays. It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, yet the flavors are really complex and wonderful.
The basic ingredients for the slow cooker are an onion, some dried cranberries, and some jam. I think grape or blackberry work really well.
Add those things to a slow cooker with some chili powder and stock and get it heating up.
While you could just throw the pork in there at this point, I think searing the pork first makes the final dish better. This isn’t too hard. Just season it with salt and pepper and sear it for a few minutes per side in a cast iron skillet (or any sturdy skillet).
Then add the pork to the slow cooker!
Add about a cup of water to the skillet you seared the pork in. Use the water to scrape up any bits left in the pan and pour that in the slow cooker also. Lots of flavor there!
The pork will need to cook on high for 90-120 minutes. The only way to know it’s done for sure is to test it with a meat thermometer. It should register 145-150 degrees in the thickest part.
Remove meat to a serving tray and thicken sauce, if desired, by continuing to cook in slow cooker a few minutes more (or mixing a teaspoon of corn starch with a teaspoon of water until smooth and whisking it into the sauce).
Then you can slice the pork and ladle the sauce over the top!
All in all, it’s a meal that really seems elegant for the effort it takes. Serve it to your friends and family, but feel free to keep the cooking trick a secret. It’s safe with me!
Nick thinks you should save your cooking energy and let the slow cooker do its magic! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.