Festive Pork with orange and cranberries


 This is one of my favourite festive dishes and it always appears some time over the Christmas holidays. The mix of warm spices, cranberries and orange go well together with the tender pork and it looks stunning on the festive table.  You can make it ahead of time or well ahead and freeze it.  I like to have a few dishes tucked away ready to be whisked out at the last minute so that I don’t have to miss any of the Christmas fun and this is perfect.  Like lots of dishes it is even better re-heated the next day.

Serves 6-8

NB Meat requires marinating overnight

675-800g Pork tenderloin

2 oranges

1 level tbsp. each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme or a good pinch of each dried

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 24 button onions

4 large celery stalks with leaves

Oil to brown meat

1 small stick of cinnamon

300m red or white wine

150ml light stock

2 tbsp. caster sugar

150g (5oz) fresh or frozen cranberries

Chopped celery leaves and zest of the orange to garnish


  1. Ask your butcher to prepare the loin for you. Cut up into chunky rounds.

2. Grate the zest of one of the oranges, remove the zest (in strips) of the other and put on one side.  Juice both.  Put the pork in a non-metallic dish with the orange juice, rosemary, thyme, crushed garlic, a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.     marinate     overnight.

3. Peel onions, trimming roots but keeping them whole. It is easier to do this if you pour boiling water over them and leave for 5 minutes before peeling. Remove the green leaves from the celery and leave to one side then chop up the rest.Remove meat from the marinade. Reserve marinade.

4. Heat some oil in a casserole dish with lid (preferably oven to table sort), break stick of cinnamon and add.  Add pork and onions and brown well. If necessary add more oil.  Cook for 8-10 minutes

5. Add the reserved marinade, wine, stock, sugar and celery.  (If you want to thicken it with a little flour do so at this stage, I prefer not to)

6.Simmer gently for 1-2 minutes then cover and cook in oven at 180C (325F), mark 3 for about 40 mins.

7. Add the cranberries and cook for another 10 minutes.

8. Before serving check the seasoning and then add the chopped celery leaves and the orange zest.

9.  Serve with something like Dauphinoise potatoes to soak up the lovely juices.

To prepare ahead Complete to end of step 8, cool quickly, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To freeze:  Cool quickly, transfer to a freezer proof container with lid and freeze. Defrost at room temp overnight and re-heat for about 20 mins.  Check that the centre is cooked through.







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