By the time the holidays roll around I'm spent. From cooking a massive Thanksgiving meal to Christmas shopping and even packing my family up to head to Los Angeles for the holidays...truly I have zero energy left. In general, I love meals that look impressive and deliver flavor, but are also incredibly easy to pull off. During this time of year, this is doubly true.
When I came up with this recipe for a festive pork roast, I wanted something that could come together in under two hours and incorporate the flavors of the season. My mind immediately jumped to cranberries and rosemary. Not only are red and green THE colors of Christmas, but both flavors complement each other well.
If you're looking for an affordable dish that you can serve to your family with little stress on your part, go ahead and print out this recipe because this is what you're looking for.
This recipe calls for simple ingredients such as store-bought cranberry sauce, a few sprigs of rosemary, dijon mustard, orange juice, and brown sugar. Chances are you already have most of these items sitting at home ready for you to bust them out.
A few things to note, while this recipe is forgiving, there are certain substitutions that you can't make.
Do I Have To Use Dijon?
No, but you should. You cannot substitute dijon mustard for regular yellow mustard. It won't completely ruin this dish, but the flavor will be very different (and not in the best way.) If you can't find dijon mustard for any reason, try to use spicy brown mustard or even whole-grain mustard.
Which Cranberry Sauce Should I use?
This recipe calls for canned or pre-made whole-berry cranberry sauce. My favorite version is from Trader Joe's but if you have a hard time finding that, Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, or any equivalent works. Just make sure it isn't the jelly stuff. Gross.
I Don't Eat Pork, Can I Substitute For Something Else?
So the answer is both yes and no. Yes, you can substitute the pork for duck, chicken, or even beef tri-tip, but I haven't tested this recipe on any of those meats and I can't promise this recipe would work for them because I specifically developed this for pork.
4 1/2 Pounds Is Too Much Meat, Can I Half The Recipe?
Yes! 4 1/2 pounds will generously serve about 8-10 people and if you're not cooking for that many folks, you can buy a smaller roast and divide the recipe. But, this dish is so delicious, I'm pretty sure that folks will want leftovers and you can always freeze anything you don't eat and heat it up on a day when you absolutely don't feel like cooking.
With that, please enjoy this juicy savory and sweet roasted pork loin that I know will become a go-to for you and your family for years to come.