Pork meets fruit

The idea to combine pork with figs was brought to me by a friend some time ago. He passed me a recipe which had been common in his family for years. Yet, I never tried out this recipe. As much as I remember, it called for pork cutlets and canned figs, both of which were cooked in a cream sauce for about an hours or so. That didn’t sound very alluring to me, to be honest.

But I did like the idea of having pork with figs. And so I worked on it. At first I substituted pork fillet for the cutlets, and fresh figs for the canned ones. Furthermore, I added some pink peppercorns, where the original recipe had used green pepper. Next I experimented with different ways of cooking. It took some tries until I was satisfied with the result. As a matter of fact, each time I prepared this dish, it became more simple. Out came a very reductionist recipe. Crisp and tender pork fillet, soft figs, spicy pink pepper. That’s it. No distraction. A worship of good products and careful cooking.

There are two ways of making this dish. Medaillons cut from the thick middle part of the fillet, or stripes cut from the ends of it. Both is fine. It’s only a question of what you have in your fridge. Here’s the stripes version:

Pork fillet with figs

Serves 2:
300 g figs
400 g pork fillet
2 tsp. pink peppercorns
2 tblsp. oil
100 ml white wine
100 ml cream
salt

Preheat your oven to 120 °C. Peel the figs with a small knife, then quarter them. Cut the pork fillet into 2 cm stripes. Crush the pink peppercorns in a mortar.

Spread the figs on a heat-resistant plate and put them in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the pork and sauté for just 1-2 minutes over maximum heat. Season with salt, then transfer the pork to the plate with the figs. Put the plate back in the oven for 2-3 minutes.

Discard the oil and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Return the pan to the stove, deglace with white wine, add the cream. Over high heat, boil down to the half. Season with salt. If you like, use a hand-blender to froth the sauce.

Arrange pork, figs, and sauce on plates and sprinkle the dish with pink pepper.

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