Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Onions

Figs! When they’re in season, well the box filleth over. If you have ever had a fig tree, you know what I mean. Fig trees rain figs. (Oddly they rain leaves too. When it comes time, one day you have leaves on the tree, the next day, none. They all drop at once.) My parents have a green fig tree, Hank has a Mission fig tree, so we are doubly blessed. Personally I prefer the mission figs; the flavor is more intense. Hank brought over some of his figs, with which we made a fig galette, and with which we made this awesome caramelized onion, balsamic, rosemary, fig accompaniment to pork tenderloin. I liked the fig onions so much I made them again today for lunch and ate them all, with a few slices of leftover tenderloin. Yum.

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about a pound each
  • Salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 8-10 mission (dark) figs, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Black pepper

Method

1 Salt the pork tenderloins well and set them out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Heat the oven to 300°F.

2 Slice the onion into strips lengthwise (from the top to the root end). Cutting the onion this way helps keep the pieces hold their shape. (See How to caramelize onions for a visual).

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3 Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels. Place the tenderloins in the pan and sear on all sides, until nicely browned. Remove the tenderloins to an oven-proof pan, and place in the oven at 300°F. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloins reaches 140°F. Then remove from oven and let rest.

4 While the tenderloins are roasting, add the onions to the sauté pan along with the other tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and toss to combine again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.

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5 Once the onions have softened and browned, add the rosemary and figs. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir to combine. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring often.

6 Remove from the heat. Mix in the parsley and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the pork tenderloins into 1/4-inch thick slices and serve alongside the onions and figs.

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