Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Figs

Roast pork tenderloin with figs

Strange though it may sound, my favorite sweater came to mind when I was plating this Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Figs for family dinner last week. The sweater is a cardigan: thick and nubby with a rosy hue and rather elaborate detailing at the shoulders. Every time I put it on, it gets mistaken for something it’s not: expensive, handmade, an indulgence, if you will. Whether I’m in line at the supermarket or waiting to pick up my kids at school, someone throws a compliment my way. And I always feel like a little bit of cheat, since it’s hardly the kind of hand crafted knitwear folks seem to imagine. I picked up for under 30 bucks at mega retailer H & M.

Likewise, this pork looks sort of fancy, what with the roasted figs and all. It seems to be the sort of thing to save for a special occasion, kind of like my sweater. But here’s a little secret: it’s not what it seems. It’s all made in one pan, simple enough for a weeknight supper, and affordable relative to many other cuts of meat. To top it off, pork tenderloin is one of the leanest choices available, on par with skinless chicken breasts in fat content. What’s not to love?

When Fall rolls around each year, I always turn to pork for homey suppers, largely because it pairs so beautifully with all of the fruits of the season: apples, pears, quince and, of course, figs. Figs are ideal in this particular preparation since they are soft, so roast up nice and tender by the time the meat is cooked.


Pork tenderloin is boneless and relatively narrow, which makes cooking and carving a breeze. I’ve created a simple marinade punctuated with garlic, Dijon mustard, a touch of maple syrup, and rosemary. If you have the foresight, get the marinade going a couple of hours ahead of time. That said, even slathering it just before cooking will create plenty of flavor.

When the meat is done, arrange it along with the figs on your prettiest platter and set it in front of your family or guests. Then, when they “ooh” and “ahh” and say, “I don’t know how you manage it,” just do what I do when people compliment my cardigan. Give them your biggest smile and say, “Thank you.” Some secrets are best kept to ourselves.

Roast pork tenderloin with figs
5 from 4 votes
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Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Figs

The pork gets started in a skillet to get it good and brown before it goes into the oven. Serve with a generous, crisp salad...and since you already have your oven good and hot, consider roasting seasonal vegetables or little potatoes while you prep and cook the pork.
Course Dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 2 big sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Two 1 to 1-1 /4 pound pork tenderloins
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 basket fresh figs (about 16 figs)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove pork from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before cooking.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, rosemary, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and a few healthy cracks of black pepper from a pepper grinder. Use your hands to coat the 2 tenderloins with the marinade. If you are marinating the pork a few hours ahead of time, wrap and refrigerate it until 1/2 hour before you are ready to cook.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over high heat in an oven-proof skillet large enough to comfortably accommodate both tenderloins. Add the meat to the pan and cook on all sides until nicely browned. This will take a few minutes per side.
  5. While the meat is browning, toss the figs in a medium bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Once the meat is browned, add the figs to the pan, nestle the two rosemary sprigs in there and put in the oven.
  6. Cook until done. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the tenderloin and how you like your meat. Test for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the center of the thickest part of the tenderloin. For pinker tenderloin, remove it at 140 to 145 degrees degrees. For more well done, cook it to 150 to 155 degrees. This will take 20 minutes, give or take a few.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the meat to a carving board. Let it rest for at least five minutes. Cut the meat crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange on a platter with the figs. Add the dripping from carving the meat to the pan along with the remaining 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and stir it together. Drizzle these pan drippings over the meat and figs, season with more salt and fresh black pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

The USDA recommends cooking pork to 145 degrees

 

Comments

09.15.2011 at 9:05 AM #

Kelly

Thanks Katie!
I will try this one. My mom passed on a recipe similar but with an Apple Conserve sauce. So while it is tasty..it does take time to slice apples, onions, mix in sauce ingredients…cook over stove for a period of time…etc. So this seems much quicker:)

I have never cooked with figs..is there anything I need to do to them (cut a certain way, clean a certain way etc..) before I marinate?

09.15.2011 at 9:05 AM #

katiemorford

That’s sort of the beauty of this….the only thing to do with figs is wash them.

09.15.2011 at 11:13 AM #

Christine

Yumm, I love this blog. So glad you connected with Pottery Barn Kids so I could find it!!!!

09.15.2011 at 11:13 AM #

katiemorford

Glad you found me!

09.15.2011 at 3:27 PM #

Alysa (InspiredRD)

I’ve had something similar at my favorite restaurant in Tucson. Can’t wait to try making it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

09.15.2011 at 11:58 PM #

Bliss

Just in time! I love pork tenderloin, but have made my favorite easy recipe one too many times. This is even easier and soon to be my new favorite!

By the way, I was hoping for a picture of the sweater.

09.19.2011 at 7:16 PM #

Kristen

This was excellent. Easy and delicious. Leftovers the next day for lunch. The marinade was very good, and I had time to let it sit for a few hours and I think that made a difference in the flavor. A winner!

09.19.2011 at 7:16 PM #

katiemorford

Yay! Thanks for sharing.

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09.08.2014 at 7:59 PM #

Lydia

I’m late to the fun, but this is my kind of recipe! I love the ones that seem like you slaved for hours with complicated ingredients. I served this dish with lamb’s-quarters sauteed with olive oil and garlic (these strong greens were a nice complement to the sweetness of the pork & figs, I think kale or mustard greens would have been good as well) and roasted baby potatoes. Delicious!

09.08.2014 at 7:59 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Lydia

Appreciate the serving ideas. A strong green with the sweetness of the figs sounds perfect!

09.25.2016 at 4:35 AM #

Bob

Very nice–I marinated tenderloins in advance, and they were very moist; good mix of sweet and savory flavors. Figs might have been better as a sauce if they were sliced up rather than whole.

09.25.2016 at 4:35 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Bob. And yes, slicing them would make a delicious sauce for the pork. Maybe I’ll try it your way next time!

09.19.2017 at 9:24 AM #

Britt

This was so yummy! Figs weren’t in season yet, so I just used apples. And I had pork loin which was thicker so it took about twice the time, but so worth the wait. I let it marinade for 4 hours, it was delish. Thanks!

09.19.2017 at 9:24 AM #

katiemorford

I’ve made this with apples myself. Glad it worked out and nice to know you can easily adapt it for pork loin. Thanks for sharing!

07.13.2018 at 2:02 PM #

Lynnette Helmle

Wow – I made this and it was amazing – the flavor of the figs with the sauce and pork is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing – how can it be so long since someone commented.

07.13.2018 at 2:02 PM #

katiemorford

Love hearing that. The fig and pork combo is a good one. I appreciate EVERY comment. Thank you.

02.09.2019 at 2:21 AM #

Barbara

I used figs from our own tree. It was a poor crop this year because of lack of rain. So not really plump or attractive enough as a dessert. However in this recipe, they were magnificent enhancers. My husband raved over every mouthful. Roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans added to the meat. Very healthy and extremely tasty. Barbara . Gold Coast, Australia

02.09.2019 at 2:21 AM #

katiemorford

Ah…thanks Barbara! Sounds delicious with all the vegetables. Nice to have friends from down under 🙂

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