My Cranberry Glazed Pork Roast is a succulent pork loin roasted with a rosemary mustard rub, and topped with a sweet tart cranberry orange glaze. It takes just an hour in the oven…are you hungry yet?
Pork loin is a quick cooking, juicy, and affordable cut of meat
We love pork here at tvfgi! This festive roast pork looks fancy but cooks up quickly and easily. Pork loin is perfect for a family meal because it feeds a lot, and isn’t super expensive. We like it for Sunday dinners and cozy winter nights. Even when it’s just the two of us at home, a pork roast makes sense because we cook once, and don’t have to think about dinner for days.
The rule of thumb is to cook pork to 145F ~ and yes, it can (and should!) be pink in the middle
Used to be we aimed for 160F in pork, which meant meat that was tough and dry. The new USDA guideline for the safe temperature for cooked pork is 145F, or medium rare, which means juicier, more delicious pork. (Ground pork, like all ground meat, still needs to be cooked to 160F)
Cranberries might be my favorite winter ingredient, they’re so versatile for sweet and savory recipes.
They have one of the most vibrant flavors in the food world! They also happen to freeze beautifully, which is such a boon. I load up my fridge with bags of cranberries right after Thanksgiving so I can keep on loving them all year long.
These all-American berries are a no-brainer for holiday sweets and desserts like my Cranberry Gingersnap Pie and my Fresh Cranberry Bars…but they’re just as useful for dinner, have you tried my Brats with Spicy Cranberry Relish or Drunken Cranberry Meatballs?
The glaze for this pork cooks up a lot like a classic cranberry sauce; you’ll just heat up fresh (or frozen) cranberries in a saucepan with some oj and some brown sugar until they burst and the sauce thickens, which just takes a few minutes. It makes a pretty and tangy topping for the meat, and you’ll serve extra on the side.
What’s the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are very different cuts, don’t be tempted to substitute one for the other.
- Pork loin is a wide cut of meat from the back of the pig. It has a fat cap across the top and is sold with or without the bone, The one I used is boneless. It runs anywhere from 2-5 pounds, mine was 3 1/2.
- Pork loins aren’t always available in the meat counter, but if you ask the butcher he’ll get one for you, and you can specify the size you want. Allow about 1/2 pound per person.
- Pork tenderloin is a much smaller, skinny piece of meat from underneath the backbone of the pig. It’s very tender and quick cooking.
- Pork tenderloins usually weigh about a pound to 2 pounds, and are always boneless.
What to serve with this cranberry glazed pork roast
I served my pork loin with mini roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Veggies can be roasted right along with the pork for a super easy side. You could also roast carrots, parsnips, turnips, broccoli, butternut squash, etc.
Steamed green beans or frozen peas work well.
Mashed potatoes, mashed winter squash, or a simple onion gratin would be delicious with pork.
Cranberry Glazed Pork Roast
- 3-4 lb bonelss pork loin (not pork tenderloin) Mine was 3.6 lbs.
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix the rub ingredients together and rub all over the pork, on both sides.
- Put your pork, fat side up, into a roasting pan. Bake for 40 mintes, uncovered.
- While the pork is cooking put the cranberries, orange juice, and brown sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has started to thicken. Pulse the sauce in a small food processor until smooth.
- Remove the pork from the oven and spread 1/2 of the cranberry glaze over the top. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center reads 145F. If your roast is on the larger side it may take a bit longer to cook. I baste the meat a few times during this last baking period.
- Let the meat sit for 10 minutes before slicing, this allows the juices to redistribute into the meat.
- Serve the pork with the extra cranberry glaze on the side.
Questions and Reviews
I loved this!!! I made it with tenderloin even though it said not to, just adjusted the time. Wanted to slurp up the juices with a straw. Soooo good. Kiddo loved the cranberry glaze.
This is by FAR the best pork recipe EVER!! The sauce!? Yummmmm!! I did add just a little cinnamon and the flavor seemed to have deepened. I doubled the sauce and was then asking myself what I could put it on!! I cooked the roast on a rotisserie in my air fryer. It looked so sexy when it was done!! Thank you for this recipe! It’s a keeper!!
This is my families favorite for the holidays! I prefer to baste the pork loin every 20 minutes. Overkill? I dunno…but the cranberry glazed pork roast is tender, sweet and the flavors make my taste buds salute!
I think more is always better when it comes to basting 🙂
Made this tonight, and soo did not disappoint. Husband said he thinks this was the best pork he’s ever had. Since it was only two of us we only had a 1.6 lb of Pork, with plenty of left overs as well! Winning, thank you Sue, this is a keeper! Happy Holidays! ?
Wondering if you’ve ever made this with regular home made cranberry sauce as no one in my family likes the taste of cranberries and orange.
Yes, that would work fine!
Do you think doing a brine beforehand would benefit this? I really hate dry pork, but have used a simple salt/sugar/ water brine for other pork roasts and had success .
I’ve read that brines really don’t increase moisture in meat, so I would say it’s not worth the time. Pork does tend to stay moist when cooked correctly, which is to 145F, but if you’ve had success with brining, then definitely try it with this recipe.
Thanks, thinking lingonberry sauce/jam might be nice too due to the tartness of it.
You said pork loin not tenderloin, but would a tenderloin also work? Looking for something smaller, but you had me at cranberry glaze.
Definitely, but you would want to cook it for less time.
Sue, I wish I could give this 10 stars. Was the most moist tenderloin with unbelievable flavor. I did add my own tastes to the cranberry glaze, instead of brown sugar I used 1 Tbsp of Mike’s Hot Honey. We don’t like sweet cranberry anything. Was not not but with a special something. I did use a tenderloin and reduced cooking time. Will try to remember to take a pic next time and believe me there will be many more times. Have a wonderful Christmas and keep these recipes coming.
Thank you! And I absolutely will try the hot honey next time, sounds amazing 🙂 Happy Holidays!