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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cranberry Roast Pork Loin

I very rarely buy foodie magazines although sometimes I am tempted by the food pictures on the front cover. The reason I avoid buying most foodie magazines is there ends up being one or two recipes worth trying but usually difficult to find in the midst of the copious advertisements. Instead, I get 2 free food related magazines that are put out quarterly - What's Cooking (Kraft Canada) and Food & Drink (LCBO, Ontario, Canada). Food & Drink leans towards a bit on the gourmet side but is a very valuable resource for enterainment cooking and cooking with beer, wine or spirits. I recently splurged one year subscriptions to Cook's Country and Cook's Illustrated. What I like about both of these magazines is the absence of advertisements. In addition to several recipes per issue there are great cooking tips and how-tos along with product reviews. These magazines will be a valuable resource in my kitchen!

roasted pork loin with cranberry sauceCranberry Roast Pork Loin

It is easy to get into a cooking rut when you preserve as much food as I do but the same can be said for anyone who keeps a very well stocked pantry. For example, fresh cranberries and commercially canned cranberries go on sale just before Thanksgiving so that is when I stock up. I freeze cranberries to cook fresh later or can as cranberry sauce. The majority of the time cranberries are paired with turkey but there is no reason they couldn't be used in another way, it's just I don't think to do so. So when it comes to cranberries I'm in a bit of a rut.

This month's issue of Cook's Country had a recipe for a roasted pork loin glazed with a cranberry sauce. Pairing cranberry with pork is not something I would have thought of immediately. I modified the recipe to half for a smaller cut of pork loin and I used home canned whole cranberry sauce. I also modified the roasting method. Of interest is the flavour of the cranberries was layered by using 3 forms as spoken about on Food Network Canada. Pictured is the roasted pork loin with the cranberry glaze just out of the oven.

Cranberry Pork Loin
source: modified from Cook's Country, December/January 2010, Pp. 10.

1½ lb pork loin roast
salt and pepper

1½ tsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ tsp dried thyme
1 c whole cranberry sauce
¾ c cranberry juice
½ c dried cranberries
1½ tbsp ketchup
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp cornstarch

Pre-heat oven to 220ºC/425ºF. Pat roast dry then season with salt and pepper. Score fat on top of roast in ½- inch intervals. Place pork, fat side up in baking pan. Roast 20 minutes. Combine the remaining ingredients except for cornstarch and about 2 tbsp of the cranberry juice. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes. Mix the remaining cranberry juice with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Slowly pour into the sauce while stirring. Continue to cook and stir until thickened. Spoon the mixture over the pork and continue to roast 20 to 25 minutes or the roast reaches an internal temperature of 63ºC/145ºF. Remove from oven. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Spoon sauce over slices for serving. Spoon the rest of the sauce into a serving bowl for passing at the table.

cranberry roast pork servedCranberry Roast Pork Dinner

Pork is considerably leaner than it was years ago due to the way pigs are raised in response to the demand for low fat meat alternatives. As a result the problem becomes keeping pork moist and tender after cooking. An easy way to do this is to use some type of sauce when cooking pork. I tend to use milk based sauces to help tenderize pork or fruit based sweet or savory glazes that add flavour when cooking pork.

The roasted pork smelled wonderful! I served the pork roast with baked Yukon gold and sweet potatoes and home canned green beans from the foodie road trip I made last summer. The meal itself ended up being low fat although that wasn't the original intention when I started putting things together. The cranberry sauce looked gorgeous and had good flavour but unfortunately lacked sparkle. I think it needed a touch of citrus specifically orange to brighten the flavour. The next time I make this I will substitute orange juice for the cranberry juice then garnish with orange zest. The white vinegar really didn't add any flavour so I would be tempted to use Basmatic or red wine vinegar instead. With a bit of tweaking to get that sparkle this will be a lovely cranberry sauce one that I may even can as a ready to use convenience product for the pantry.


4 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

Pork loin is a wonderful too rarely used cut of meat

great looking recipe, love the idea, and will be worth another look

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

I did the same - stocked up on cranberry sauce! This recipe is going on the menu for this week - woohoo!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Dave :) We buy pork on the hoof but with the H1N1 scare there have been a lot of good deals on pork here. I usually use pork loins to cure for peameal bacon or as a roast. I think it will be a great recipe with a bit of tweaking.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Chey, I hope you enjoy the recipe :)