Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Roast Pork with Fig Sauce & The Empty Refrigerator

Roast turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup, turkey hash, turkey pot pie, turkey brownies...

Thanksgiving is 4 days past so I'll assume that we're all sick of turkey. From the reports I'm receiving from the outer precincts, most of you had a successful holiday meal. There was news of a sketchy heating element in the northern territories and some gravy challenges in Panama, (of course cooking on the tropical frontier does present unique issues).

Here at the center of Crab Universe the refrigerator is thankfully growing empty. There are two reasons that a refrigerator can depress you. One, it's empty and you don't have the cash to fill it up, (and in these times, that's a growing concern). Or two, it's full and you're stuck working through the leftovers before you can start cooking creatively again. My freezer has a few hidden treasures, so let's get cooking.

Today I'm preparing a roast pork loin recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis. This meal entails making a fig sauce. Normally I'm not a fan of figs, all those little seeds drive me crazy, but something about roast beast and jam just works. This roast could be the centerpiece of a sit down meal, or with the fig sauce warmed and the roast, thinly sliced and served at room temperature, it could be great for a holiday party. So, forget the turkey and enjoy...

Pork Loin with Fig Port Sauce
from Everyday Italian, by Giada Delaurentiis


2 1/2 cups Port wine
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 dried black Mission figs
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cinnamon sticks
1 TBSP Honey
3 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt & Pepper, to taste


1 3lb. boneless pork loin
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 TBSP salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low sodium chicken broth

For the Sauce: Coarsely chop the figs. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the port, chicken broth, chopped figs, sprigs of rosemary, cinnamon sticks and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until reduced by half.

Remove the rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks, (ignore the rosemary leaves that remain behind). Using a stick blender or food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. Blend in the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The sauce can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat prior to serving.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, chopped rosemary leaves, 1 TBSP of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper.

Spread the mixture over the pork making sure to evenly cover all sides of the meat.

Place in the oven and roast until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees. To insure even browning, turn the pork roast every 15 minutes, total cooking time should be approximately 45 minutes.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent lightly with foil. Allow the pork to rest for 15 minutes. While the pork is resting, add the 1 cup of chicken broth to the roasting pan. Place the pan over medium heat and scrape up any browned bits attached to the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper the pan juices to taste.

Cut the pork into 1/4 inch slices and spoon on pan juices and fig sauce. Serve immediately.

There you have it crablings. A nice change of pace from poultry, though I suspect that this sauce would work quite well with roast chicken, duck or goose. I'll have to experiment with that a bit. Until next time, great job on Thanksgiving, just remember, you can do it, you can cook.


Anonymous said...

Sounds just great to me & love the photo. Our fridge has an assortment of 'good idea'foods - sounded good at the time, but now too busy to think laterally!!

WineWizardBob said...

A recent grad of a famous US culinary school stopped in my shop looking for some help in matching wines for a dinner party he was planning. He started talking about matching the protein and wine. My advice: Protein Schmotein, The Sauce is the Boss when matching wine to food.
This sweetish sauce is a perfect example. As the head Crabster said, this sauce prolly works well with chicken, duck or goose too. Well, the same wine goes with each dish regardless of the protein cuz the sauce is such a standout! Fig sauce works well with almost all American red wines, but my first choice would be a Zinfandel because it has similar fruit flavor. If you want to go broke try an Italian Amarone. And if you want to go silly, try a light Italian red "dessert" wine, Brachetto.

test it comm said...

I have a bookmark on that recipe in the cookbook. It sounds really good.

JoolzGirl said...

I'm keen to try this (using fresh figs and beef stock) to accompany a roast beef. Hope it works for that too! (We have a fig tree in the backyard just about to overflow with ripe figs). I'll let you know if it works :)

www.crabbycook.com said...

Good luck Joolz. Please tell me how it works out. Beautiful jewelry by the way, I especially liked "Cool Runnings".