Friday, June 10, 2011

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

I love trying new recipes and combinations that I wouldn't have ever thought to put together. And I even love long, complicated dishes. So when I tried The Pioneer Woman's Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce, I fell in love. It is a perfect dinner for entertaining. But it is not at all a weeknight dinner possibility for me. This will not be news to mothers of small children, but the dinner-cooking-hour around here often resembles a WW3 battlefield. Neither of my kids enjoy that time of day on a regular basis, nor are they willing to suck it up and sit quietly while I lovingly slave over a dish like this. Instead they stand at the doorway of the kitchen whining and carrying on. (I have a "no whining in the kitchen" rule so at least they're not at my feet.) Anyway, I saw a similar recipe on a message board, and it inspired me to try to recreate PW's loin in a much more weeknight-friendly package. This was a HUGE hit. It is so quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. I used a tenderloin that I had gotten on clearance at Target for $4. So our entire meal including sides was less than $10 and tasted like a million bucks. Yum!

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (fresh or frozen - doesn't matter!)

1 onion, sliced

1 packet of dry onion soup mix (like Lipton or, as I used, generic)

1 can of whole cranberry sauce (or 2 cups of homemade)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

black pepper to taste

Dump the onion into the bottom of the crockpot to act as a liner. Lay the pork tenderloin on top (you do not have to thaw the loin - just add cooking time), and sprinkle the dry soup mix evenly.
Spoon the cranberry sauce as evenly as possible over the loin and onions. You want the flavor to soak into every nook and cranny as it cooks, but it's not easily spreadable.

Put the lid on, and cook on high for 4 hours. Mine was done at 3, although I can't imagine that this would dry out too badly as it is very liquid-y after an hour or so of cooking. I also can't imagine that this would be bad if you cook it on low for 8 hours while you're out.

When the loin is done, remove it from the crockpot, and set aside to rest on a cutting board.

Strain the juices that are leftover in the crockpot, and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the tablespoon of flour, and stir with a whisk to create a roux allowing it to get slightly brown. Slowly pour in the reserved and strained liquid whisking until well-combined. Allow to heat through and thicken to your desired consistency (a gravy consistency), sprinkle with pepper, and remove from the heat.

Slice the tenderloin, and top with the gravy. Yum!


Erin said...

This looks great - I may just have to bust out my crockpot next week! Thanks for posting, Alicia.

Amanda @ Gratefully Growing in Grace said...

I ate supper AND dessert tonight and I'm suddenly hungry again...

Abramyan Avenue said...

Oh my word this looks good!! I am going to HAVE to try it!!!
Thanks for sharing!

Nikki said...

Looks great - and different from the beef/noodles or mexican chicken ideas. We'll be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing!