Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Fig


I missed fig season. I blinked, and it was gone.

I made this recipe two fig seasons ago; I remember it as one of the first meals I was really proud of. It was a bit sophisticated (move over, corn-flake crusted chicken), balanced, and crave-worthy.

We were at our local produce shop a week or so ago, and I saw containers of tender figs; I got very excited. I had flashbacks to this dinner and I mentally put it on the menu. Today, they were gone. Not a single fig in sight. I was set on having this dinner tonight, so we substituted the figs with some fig preserve.

It was better than I remembered. And now, I am not restricted to making this in a tiny two week window in late August.  Win.

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
1/3 cup, or so, fig preserves
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
*I think this would be delightful with a combo of fresh figs and the preserves. Reduce the amount of preserve if adding the fruit. Refer to original recipe for how to prepare


  1. Let the pork sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Season the pork well with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare your onions: Halve and slice the onion, length-wise (from root to tip)
  3. In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Brown the pork tenderloin on all sides. Transfer the pork to a baking pan. We do this because we can now caramelize the onions in the same pan we browned the pork. Magic.
  4. Move the pork to the oven. Depending on your loin size, I find it takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Don’t go by time, though. The safest and most delicious way to tell when meat is ready is by checking temperature of the meat. When the thickest part of the loin has reached 145F, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. While the pork is roasting, we will caramelize the onions. Add the remaining butter, onions and salt to the pan over medium heat. After a few minutes, once the onions have a bit of colour on them, add the sugar and 1 teaspoon balsamic. Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes (or, until the pork is done resting).
  6. When ready to serve, turn up the heat of the onions and add the fig preserves, remaining balsamic, and rosemary. Cook until heated. Serve with the pork and enjoy!

Adapted from Simply Recipes


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