Pork Chops with Fig Preserves & Caramelized Onions


Earlier in the year, I started researching ways to preserve the figs from our fig tree.  Canning jars of preserves out on the patio quickly turned into a huge nightmare in the late summer.  Keeping everything clean and keeping it all away from the flies and other bugs ended up being a way bigger challenge than I expected.  I ended up only making a few jars of fig preserves from the figs on our tree.  Not long after that, I had to give up on the whole process of cooking/cleaning dishes outside when I realized I was pregnant.  With restrictions on lifting anything heavy, the whole process quickly became impossible.

With my four little jars of preserved figs stashed safely away, I was waiting to finally have a functional kitchen again so I could try them out.  I had read that figs go nicely with pork, so I decided to give it my own spin.  Below is a summary of my dinner experiment from last night!

1.  I started by dicing one yellow sweet onion, and setting aside.
2.  Salted each side of the pork chops, and placed in large pan with a couple of tablespoons of butter.  I seared each side of the pork chops on medium high heat until each side was nice and golden brown.
3.  Moved the pork chops to a covered oven dish, and cooked in preheated oven at 300 degrees.  I cooked these for quite a while since I wanted to make sure that they were completely well-done (since I am pregnant).  Under normal circumstances though, because they were precooked by searing the sides, cooking them for about 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees, would be adequate.
4.  While the pork chops were baking, I moved the chopped onions to the pan and added a little more butter and salt.  I cooked the onions until they were starting to caramelize and get golden.  Then to add some contrast to the sweetness of the figs, I added a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, the juice of one lemon, and two sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
5.  Next I added the contents of one small jar of preserved figs to the mixture in the pan and cooked on medium-low heat, keeping covered.
6.  Once the pork was finished cooking, I spooned the onion/fig mixture over each piece of pork.

I served this along with some green and yellow string beans from our garden, and some sweet potatoes, broiled with a little rosemary and olive oil.  I was so happy with the end result.  I wish I had more little jars of the preserved figs.  Next year I will definitely make an effort to preserve more.  Since I didn’t use many of them this year, it was cute that the wildlife in our yard got quite chubby from eating the majority of the figs! 🙂

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