In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries and sugar. With a peeler, peel wide strips of orange zest into pan.
Set the pan over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to heat the mixture. The cranberries won’t lose and juice just yet because they’re whole. In addition to heating the ingredients, the stirring will help the abrasive sugar release oils from the orange peel. This helps us cut down the cooking process of the cranberries, keeping the sauce tangy and bright. Do this for just a few minutes.
With a potato masher, roughly mash the cranberries. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we’re just popping most of the the cranberries and mashing some as well.
Add the cranberry juice, juice from the orange and salt. The sugar may harden, but that’s okay —it will melt. Stirring frequently (I prefer a silicone spatula when making jams or sauces), cook the sauce. It will pop and splatter, but keep mixing because that will help prevent that. Cook for 5-10 minutes until desired thickness and the cranberries have softened or macerated completely. Remove from heat.
Now taste (don’t burn yourself). If it needs more sugar, add. At times I’ve made it tangy for more savory foods, other times I add up to 1/2 cup more sugar for desserts - it all depends on what you’re going for. Just add the sugar while it’s very warm or hot so the sugar dissolves. Enjoy!