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! 🙂