9.20.2008

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fresh Fig Sauce

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fresh Fig Sauce
I shop at a small family market that is nothing like your huge, chain grocery store. My store is about 15,000 square feet and includes a deli, sushi bar, seafood counter, flower market, fresh bread, dairy section, and lots and lots of produce. They stock many funky foodstuffs that I wouldn't be able to find at the local mega-grocery store. My store even has fish heads for sale. I'm not sure I want to cook with fish heads. But when I do, they've got them.

While wandering the aisles of my store, I spied a container of about 20 fresh figs for $1.99. $1.99? I can't find fresh figs at the local mega-grocery store let alone for only $1.99. I had no idea what I was going to cook with my figs, but I bought my figs.

Looking through all the recipes I save "To Make at a Future Date" I found one that included pork chops with a dried fig and balsamic sauce. I changed up the recipe a bit and made Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fresh Fig Sauce. Two tenderloins were seasoned with salt, pepper, and sage and browned before roasting in the oven until the internal temperature reached 135 degrees. The sauce includes diced red onion, balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, butter, fresh thyme and my figs. We also had mashed potatoes made by My Oldest and Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts.

Rave reviews all around for this recipe. The sauce is flavorful, but not overpowering. The figs add a taste twist we don't usually have. The Husband commented, "This is different from the other pork tenderloin you make. I like it much better. The other one is too sweet." The "other one" is Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin. The kids love the maple glazed pork. I never knew The Husband thought it was too sweet because he always ate it. My Middle One who insists she does not like fruit on meat, loved this dish. She ate two servings.

Fresh figs do not have a shelf life. They are best eaten the day you purchase them. I had a few before dinner with blue cheese. I felt very cosmopolitan. When I see figs at my store, I will definitely be buying them again.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fresh Fig Sauce

serves 5

2 pork tenderloins
olive oil
salt
pepper
dried sage
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup diced red onion
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
about 16 fresh figs, cut in wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub tenderloins with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sage. Heat a large, ovenproof saute pan to medium high and drizzle with olive oil. Brown tenderloins on all sides. Roast tenderloins in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees. Remove tenderloins from oven and tent with foil.

In the same pan that the tenderloins were browned, add 1 tablespoon butter and the red onion. Saute until softened and lightly browned, about 6 - 8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and scrap up the bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce reduces by half, about 5 - 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, thyme and about 3/4 of the figs and heat the sauce just through.

To serve, slice the tenderloin into medallions and top with the sauce and a few of the reserved figs.

Note - The Husband said it tasted even better when he had it for leftovers the next night.

17 comments:

Cheryl said...

I have some figs and had no idea what to do with them, I shall have to try this!

kat said...

I was trying to think about what to do with a pork tenderloin this week. If I can find figs at the grocery store this is it!

That Girl said...

It's so funny, I feel like people never know what to do with figs, and personally I can always think of a million uses. They're fantastic with chicken also.

Peter M said...

Nicely done..pork is so meant to be paired with fruit.

Lisa said...

I love figs.This sounds so good.

Jenny said...

Wow, this looks so pretty and so delicious! I need to go get more figs!

Katie said...

I LOOOOOVE figs! This looks fantastic!

Prudy said...

What a gorgeous fall dish!
How fun to have been able to go see Martha, too.

Bridgett said...

I just picked up some fresh figs from the farmers market....now I have a wonderful idea on how to use them. Looks delicious.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads... Sorry you've got that stuck in my head.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcXA_pkfLso

The pork looks delish, by the way.

Pam said...

This recipe is calling my name - it looks absolutely fantastic!

Annie said...

Sounds delicious! I once made a pork roast with a port wine fig sauce for a holiday dinner ~ YUM! They just go together so well.

P.s glad I found you, thanks for visiting me!

Veronica said...

I really like figs and this recipe sounds delicious. The fall always makes me crave pork.

Anonymous said...

I do this type of sauce with dates and figs using cider vinegar. It smells amazing and is less sweet than you might think. It cooks "down" really fast too so keep your eye on it.

Sonya said...

I used this sauce for a chicken breast stuffed with figs and goat cheese. It was wonderful! Thanks for a great sauce.

Jan said...

I 'created' some balsamic fig preserves when figs were in season and just got around to using them. I put the pork loin & preserves in my slow cooker and went to work. Coming home, and wondering if you can even get pork to a high enough temp in a slow cooker, I googled balsamic fig pork loin. Your page popped up first! And confirmed everything I needed to know. Your pics are lovely and I can't wait to taste this treat. Thanks!

EAT! said...

Jan - your dinner sounds amzing - I am sure it will be tasty. Your slow cooker will more than cook your tenderloin to a safe temperature of 145 degrees. Here is a link to an article on the USDA lowering the internal temp of cooked pork.

Happy cooking!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/24/pork-cooking-temperature-usda-145-degrees_n_866066.html