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Pork with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce


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I seriously love sweet sauces served with meat. There's something incredibly savory about topping a perfectly cooked piece of pork (or chicken...) with a fruit based sauce. Never mind the fact that it also aids in getting the kids to eat it. This recipe didn't fail to impress. It'll make it back on our table in the near future for sure.

The key to perfect pork is knowing exactly how long to cook it. Pork is best left slightly pink in the center (and I promise, is still safe to eat this way!) though it can be difficult to get the timing down just right. When removed from the oven, it retains its heat and continues to cook slightly. Therefore the best time to remove from the oven is just before the optimal cooking temp. I used a pork loin roast (I'm guessing it was around 2-2.5 pounds) from a 2-pack I bought at Costco. I cut it in half to give it the approximate thickness of a pork tenderloin which is what the original recipe called for. I still used both halves because one just didn't seem like enough.

*original recipe from Budget Bytes*

Pork with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
1.5-2.5 pounds pork loin roast
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of ground black pepper
1 (14 oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

Mix garlic, olive oil and 3 T balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and massage contents to distribute marinade evenly and coat the pork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet or broiling pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray lightly with olive oil or cooking spray. Remove pork from bag and discard marinade. Add pork to pan and brown on each side about 5-7 minutes per side. Place pork on lined baking sheet and place in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer in the thickest portion registers 145 degrees (this ended up being a little less than 30 minutes for me.)

Using the same skillet, add cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, butter and sage. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to combine and remove any browned bits of pork from bottom of pan. Turn heat to low and continue simmering for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Let pork rest 10 minutes on cutting board after removing from oven. Slice and serve topped with balsamic cranberry sauce.


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