A split second decision turned this mundane meal into a holiday masterpiece — the simple addition of cranberries created this easy holiday pork tenderloin.
Sometimes in the days leading up to the actual holidays, it’s nice to create little traditional meals at home that don’t involve a lot of fuss, are healthy, and make everyone feel, well, “holidayish.” No, I don’t want to whip up stuffing and gravy every Thursday in December, but sometimes a Sunday night meal can be a little more on the celebratory side.
How it started
This meal prep started the night before when I marinated the pork tenderloin, planning to make it plain. Then, when I was ready to cook, I placed a butternut squash into the oven at 400. I cut some slits into it and a added a cup of water in the baking dish to soften it. That baked for about an hour. Next, I sliced some Brussels sprouts and tossed them in olive oil and steak seasoning. These were then sprinkled on a parchment lined baking sheet. I put these in when there was about 20 minutes of bake time left on everything. When it was time to bake the tenderloin, a stroke of genius hit. That’s when I tossed the cranberries and rosemary on top, and suddenly a new holiday tradition was born.
The cooked cranberries filled the house with holiday smells and smiles. It was a meal that didn’t weigh us down or feel heavy at all — and the leftovers were even better.
Overnight marinated pork tenderloin cooked with fresh cranberries
Keyword pork tenderloin
Prep Time 1day
Cook Time 40minutes
Resting time 5minutes
1pork tenderloinCan be as large as you like, I used a 2-3 lb
1/4 cupwhite wine vinegar
2 tbspherbs de Provence
1 largeonionrough chopped or sliced
1bagfresh cranberries (16 oz)
1/4cupdry white winelike a Sauvignon Blanc
For the marinade
Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and herbs de Provence in a large ziplock bag. Add the pork tenderloin, and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the sliced onion all around the edge, and add the pork tenderloin and as much of the marinade as you can get out of the bag. Sprinkle the cranberries on top, and place the rosemary on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees, about 30-35 minutes. About halfway through, add the white wine for liquid (a dry one) and spoon some of the cranberries on top of the pork, making sure they are crushed (and watching out that they don't explode on you, they are hot). Allow it to rest about five minutes before slicing and serving.
For another pork recipe that could be a holiday meal, visit me here.
I am a mom of two and wife to a martial arts school owner, full-time social media professional and avid cook and gardener. I love creating recipes and involving my kids in the process. The food we cook is usually dairy-free and gluten-free, and sometimes paleo, but we make exceptions (ahem, sourdough bread). The “hippie” part of this blog comes into play in the ingredients we use—I’m pretty vigilant about the health of my family and you could even call me “crunchy.” The “modern” part is that I am busy! You won’t catch me making my own nut milk or churning butter (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’m more than happy to take the shortcuts provided by our lovely grocery stores and online shopping —especially in the midst of this global pandemic.