I always keep a pork tenderloin in the freezer for those nights when I am not sure what to make or for when I am hungry for pork. This time of the year there is always a bowl full of figs on the counter as well. I love figs, all the figs I love. I guess you could say this recipe for Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Figs kind of collided together with a few things that were in the kitchen. Or maybe it was a match made in heaven.
I wish I had a witty or sentimental story to share how this recipe came about but I don’t. It really happened by accident. I was getting ready to travel and when that happens I go on a major cleaning of the pantry and refrigerator. I had a little of this and that and this happened.
Most likely I was also enjoying a last of the summer rose and listening to music. Browning the pork tenderloin as I got it ready for the oven and wondering what to add along with it. I found a leek and decided to use it. The original plan was just a leek, then I deglazed the pan with some balsamic vinegar and then I spied the figs. Why not toss them into the mix and see what happened. Delicious happened and it was so good that I came back from my trip and made it again, and then again so I could share it with you.
Gosh, I love this recipe as it comes together so quickly and it is really good. I served it with wild rice that I added some sauteed shallots too. The pork roasts nicely with the leeks leaving little brown bits in the pan with the balsamic and the figs are warm and jammy. Really lovely mixed together with the wild rice. You might want to make some wild rice too!
**The National Pork Board recommends cooking a 1 – 1/2 pound pork tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145 – 165. I prefer medium-rare so I remove at about 140 and cover with foil for 5 minutes as it will continue cooking. Comes out perfect every time.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Figs
1 teaspoon pork lard or olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 medium leek, rough green top removed, washed well to remove any sand, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon balsamic
10 figs, cut in half
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Remove the pork tenderloin from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Lightly season with some kosher salt.
Preheat oven to 375.
Preheat an oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium-low heat.
Add the lard or olive oil to the skillet, then brown the tenderloin on all sides.
Remove the tenderloin from the skillet and set aside.
Add the leeks to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Turn off the heat of the stove and remove the skillet
Add the tenderloin to the leek mixture, then scatter the figs over the top.
Slide into the oven and cook until a meat thermometer reaches 140 for medium rare. If you like your pork cooked more then continue cooking until you reach the desired wellness.
Remove from the oven.
Cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Place the leeks and figs onto a serving platter. Top with slices of pork tenderloin.