Roast Pork Loin with Spicy Cranberry-Wine Sauce

First off, I just want to thank everyone who weighed in on my post yesterday (and bless your hearts, no one pointed out that I’d misspelled “quandary”), both here and on Facebook.  It really helped me to make a decision*, and Beloved and I sat down last night and put together a tentative menu for the day.    I’ll tell you about it, no later than Friday, and post (or repost) recipes in the days up until Thanksgiving.

Starting today.

I made this dish the other night and already decided I was going to replace my old, high-sugar cranberry sauce with this recipe (sans pork loin, of course).  It is simply delicious, but I have to tell you that I am going to tweak it and use an orange instead of a lemon; the addition of the lemon made this just a wee bit too tart, and I ended up adding just a touch of Splenda – something I don’t normally use any longer – to cut the “pucker factor” a bit.  Besides, the pairing of cranberries with orange is classic, and I think it will make for a wonderful sauce.

As for the pork loin, when we ordered Arnold a few months ago, I asked for the loin to be cut entirely in individual bone-in chops; since there is only 3 of us at home, getting some of it in the form of loin roasts seemed silly.  I’d forgotten, though, how much Beloved and The Young One love pork loin, so when we ordered Wilbur I asked for two pork loin roasts, with the remainder of the loin cut into individual boneless chops.  It was a good decision.

Pork loin can easily become dry when roasted and not marinated, but this recipe makes for a flavorful, yet tender, loin.  You can use any dried herb in the rub; although I used basil, rosemary would be marvelous.

*It not only helped me make a decision about Thanksgiving dinner, but Christmas dinner as well, which will include the standing rib-roast from Chuck and, most likely, warm chocolate soufflé and peppermint ice cream for dessert.  Only because I know I won’t get but a taste of each, since Oldest Son, Darling Daughter and The Young One will devour all of it.

Roast Pork Loin with Spicy Cranberry-Wine Sauce

Roast Pork Loin with Spicy Cranberry-Wine Sauce

Serves 6, with leftover sauce

2 to 3 pound pork loin roast – do not trim the fat

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried basil or rosemary or thyme

one 12 oz. package fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained

1/2 lemon, quartered

1 small, tart apple, peeled and chopped

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup honey

Sugar or Splenda to taste, if needed

1/2 cup dry red wine (a shiraz or zinfandel would be good)

Water to cover

Preheat oven to 425º F.

In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried herbs.  Rinse the pork loin, and pat dry; rub the salt mixture evenly over the pork.  Place, fat side up, in the V-rack of a roasting pan.  Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350º F and roast for another hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 150º F on an instant read thermometer.  Remove from the oven and allow the pork loin to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

While the pork loin is roasting, combine the cranberries, lemon, apple, cinnamon sticks, red pepper flakes, honey and wine in a large, heavy saucepan.  Add just enough water to cover the fruit, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cranberries pop, the apple softens and the entire mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and remove lemon pieces and allow to cool.  Taste, and add sugar or Splenda, if needed.

Serve the sauce over the sliced pork loin.

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Roast Pork Loin With Spicy Cranberry-Wine Sauce on Foodista

Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

11 thoughts on “Roast Pork Loin with Spicy Cranberry-Wine Sauce”

  1. The addition of red pepper flakes to the sauce sounds fantastic – I never thought of adding a bit of heat to mine, but I’ll have to try it with the next batch!

  2. Mmmmm. Why don’t I ever remember to read your blog after lunch? Now I’m hungry.

    It sounds like both Arnold and Wilbur are being put to good use. More on chops, though, please! We usually but a loin and have the guy do 1 3lb roast and the rest 1 inch chops. Never fail, the chops become “we need dinner fast, put them in a pan” victims.

  3. I am very excited to see how your Thanksgiving plays out. How you evolve the classic recipes to work in this mode, because I bet they will turn out just as delicious if not more so.

  4. I love pork loin as well. I also like the cranberry sauce. I would not be able to do the honey, but in then end a little Stevia glyceral will do the sweetening trick! Very lovely indeed!

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