Fig & Pork Ragout

Sweet and sticky caramalised balsamic pork and fresh figs served up on a bed of rutabaga noodles, a side of bursting cherry tomatoes, with a final sprinkle of fresh basil…summer in a bowl!

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Remember that smoked pulled pork shoulder?! It’s now officially gone! I had stashed away a fair amount of it in the freezer with plans to make a whole range of different dishes with the leftovers. Both the quiche and quesadilla worked beautifully…which reminds me I must make another batch of that awesome barbecue sauce over the weekend, ribs and drumsticks are on the agenda with the sun finally shining!

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This dish is lightly adapted from Tieghan’s awesome recipe…I opted for some rutabaga/swede noodles instead of the polenta making the dish paleo friendly.

As someone who has been on a “no sugar” detox over the past couple of weeks, the only exception being a banana post workout, more often than not blended up in to some wonderful protein pancakes, this “savoury” dish packs quite an amount in.

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Admittedly I actually made this a few weeks back and had just neglected to share it with you until now, but now that I’ve reset my palate I’d quite happily dig in to another bowlful without a second thought. When sugar is combined with something creamy, chocolaty or coconut based, that is for me when it becomes an “issue”; circumstantial sugar cravings!

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The combination of the fresh figs and sweet sticky pork was absolutely sensational. Lightened up with the noodles, made all the more fragrant thanks to the sprinkling of fresh basil, to me this is summer food perfection…

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And holly molly what a mighty fantastic use of leftover meat! You can of course make this with some fresh cut pork, I’d recommend tenderloin, and simple sauté for longer, caramelising the chunks around the edges as you go until it’s cooked through.

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The tomatoes also add a pop of freshness and the more mellow natural sweetness cuts through the ever so lightly rich pork and figs perfectly. An absolute stunner of a summer evenings meal, whipped up in about 15 minutes from start to finish…not including the washing up but if your cooking to share the aftermath definitely shouldn’t be your concern! Those are the rules right there!

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Go on…ditch the usual stir fry for something equally as speedy but a zillion times more tantalising to the tastebuds!

What’s your favourite speedy skillet summer evening meal to whip up in a flash?

Balsamic Fig and Pork Ragout

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: saute entree gluten-free grain free soy-free paleo balsamic vinegar figs

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp (40g) raw honey
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 4-5 fresh figs, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 lb (250g) leftover pulled smoked pork or use diced pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himilayan Rock Salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh basil to garnish
  • Couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes (or however many will fit in your skillet or that you think you’ll eat)
  • 1 1/2 cup rutabaga/swede noodles; create using a spiralizer or julienne peeler

Instructions

In a glass measuring cup mix together the balsamic vinegar, honey and water. Finely chop 1 or 2 whole figs, they should form a paste once finely chopped. Add the chopped figs and 1/2 of the minced garlic clove to the balsamic mixture.

Slice the remaining figs in half. Heat a very large skillet over high heat and add a drizzle of coconut oil.

If using raw pork tenderloin cook in the hot pan for 10-12 minutes…

Once the pork is cooked, or if using leftover pork saute in the pan for just a couple of minutes to caramelize, pour in all but half of the balsamic fig mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer until it coats the pork, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pork from the skillet to a plate.Place the skillet back on the burner over high heat. Add a drizzle of coconut oil. Once the skillet is hot again, add the figs cut side down and sear 1 minute. Pour the remaining balsamic fig sauce over the figs and simmer 2 minutes (don’t flip the figs, just leave them cut side down). Slide the figs to one side and add the pork back to the skillet.

Grab a another skillet and place it over high heat. Coat the bottom of the skillet with coconut oil. Add remaining minced garlic and cook 15 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss them with garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes without stirring for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes toss the tomatoes and cook another minute more or until the tomatoes are blistered. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile steam or boil the rutabaga noodles until tender; approx. 8 – 10 minutes.

To serve, divide the noodles among plate or bowls. Toss with balsamic pork and a few figs. Add the blistered cherry tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil and dig in!

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