Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast

Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast

Welcome to Day 8 of the Food Advent Calendar 2017 “Spice It Up!”

I am so excited to share this recipe today and participate in the spice advent calendar with some very creative food bloggers!

I do have a confession to make, though – and I hope Jenny won’t kill me for this…

But I changed my dish up at the last minute!  I was going to do a white chocolate nutmeg cookie.  However, I looked through the other posts and just about everyone is doing something sweet – a drink, a cookie, a dessert.  They all look fabulous and delicious!

And me, I’m over here trying so hard to stick to a low-carb, no-sugar diet…and all these desserts and sweets are killing me!

What fun is it to post about cookies and not even get to taste the ones you make??  It’s not.

And so, I’ve decided to bring you a savory option for nutmeg today, specifically, a Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast.

Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast dished up on a plate for a meal with mashed potatoes and stuffing

It is a very versatile dish, and can easily be made in the oven, slow cooker OR a digital pressure cooker.  AND true to my style, it is indeed a freezer meal!  😉

But you do not have to use it as a freezer meal.  You can make this from scratch without freezing, and I’ll still be your friend – promise!

Cranberry pork roast is a great dinner meal on its own, and I’ve just decided to dress it up a little with some additional seasonal flavors and spices.  I love the combination of oranges and cranberries, and the balance of sweet and tart that it brings.  To warm the dish up a bit, I’ve added in a little bit of cloves, and given the starring role in the sauce to some nutmeg.

Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast sliced on a platter and covered with pan juice gravy

You can serve the pork roast sliced or shredded – your choice.  When I roast a boneless loin roast in the oven, it generally will slice and not shred.  The same is true when cooking in the slow cooker.  It just doesn’t get quite the heat it needs to be able to shred like a shoulder butt roast.  But when cooking in a pressure cooker, I’m lucky if I can get it to stay together enough to slice.  Most of the time it sortof just shreds itself as I try to take it out of the pot.  Ha ha!

I’ve been doing my pork roasts mostly in the pressure cooker, and have been using a cornstarch slurry with the remaining juices to make a gravy.  But if you prefer, you can strain the juices and make a gravy with a flour roux, too.  I’m just lazy.  I can dump the cornstarch slurry into my Instant Pot without needing to strain the juices.  And I can bring it to a boil to thicken, all without dirtying another pot.  And I’m all about having less dishes and pots to wash up!

Close up shot of Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast on dinner plate

If you go the cornstarch route, just make sure you add your cornstarch to equal parts COLD water in a separate bowl or cup, then whisk until dissolved.  THEN pour it into your hot liquid.  Never put cornstarch directly into a hot liquid.  It will clump on you every. single. time.  And there is nothing worse than lumpy gravy.  I’ve learned my lesson the hard way…

So there you have it!  I hope you’ll give this Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast a try, and I hope it will become a family favorite for the holiday season!!

Be sure to check out Jenny’s blog post for the rest of the amazing spice recipes for our Advent countdown!


5 from 2 votes
Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast square shot
Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

The addition of cloves and nutmeg, along with a little bit of orange juice, will take your ordinary cranberry pork roast to a whole new holiday level!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Make-Ahead Meal Mom
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1 15oz can whole berry cranberry sauce (or 2 cups homemade)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For sauce (at time of cooking):
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons COLD water
  1. Place pork roast in gallon-size freezer bag.

  2. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients until mixed well.

  3. Pour over roast in bag.

  4. Remove as much air as possible from bag and seal shut.

  5. Label and date, then lay bag flat in freezer to freeze.

For slow cooker:
  1. Remove bag from freezer the night before and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. Place contents of bag into slow cooker.

  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until thermometer inserted into center of pork loin reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Remove roast from slow cooker and pour remaining juices into medium saucepan.

  5. Mix cornstarch and COLD water until a thin slurry is achieved.  Pour slurry mixture into saucepan.

  6. Heat sauce over medium-high heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring regularly, for 2-3 additional minutes until sauce has thickened.

  7. Slice or shred roast, add sauce and serve.

For Instant Pot/pressure cooker:
  1. Remove bag from freezer the night before and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  

  2. Place contents of bag into pressure cooker.

  3. Cover and cook on HIGH pressure for 60 minutes.  Then allow 10 minutes natural release, then quick release.

  4. Remove roast from pressure cooker.

  5. Mix cornstarch and COLD water until a thin slurry is achieved. Pour slurry mixture into pressure cooker.

  6. Set pressure cooker to Saute function, and allow sauce mixture to come to a boil.  Heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened and then turn pressure cooker off.

  7. Slice or shred roast, add sauce and serve.

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