Pork tenderloin and figs with balsamic sauce

Pork Tenderloin and Figs with Balsamic Sauce
Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 pork tenderloin weighing 1½ pounds/680g, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Dry Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons good quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 to 8 Black Mission figs, washed and quartered lengthwise
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

  2. Trim pork tenderloin: carefully cut off tenderloin 'head' and remove connective fat pocket. Set aside to cook with rest of tenderloin. Trim tenderloin cutting off excess fat and pulling off silver skin (sheath of sinew covering the meat) by sliding knife blade under the skin to loosen it and carefully pulling off in strips in the direction of the head. Repeat until all the silver skin has been removed. Trim tail of tenderloin if it is too thin and long.

  3. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet or sauté pan. Salt and pepper the pork tenderloin on all sides. When the butter foams, add the tenderloin to the hot fat and sear well on all sides. When evenly browned, transfer the tenderloin to a baking sheet and place in hot oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until center of pork registers 160°F on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven, place tenderloin on a cutting board and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let meat rest for 8 to 10 minutes before cutting.

  4. While the pork is baking, tip off any excess fat from the sauté pan and reduce to medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté gently until softened, stirring with a wooden spoon. Deglaze the pan by adding the Dry Marsala wine, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to remove bits of caramelized residue. Let the wine simmer for about a minute allowing alcohol fumes to evaporate.

  5. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Warm slowly until sauce thickens slightly, adding any juices that have accumulated from the tenderloin on the cutting board. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and whisk in until sauce is smooth. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Place the quartered figs in the sauté pan and gently toss in the sauce to warm and glaze the figs.

  7. Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions approximately ½ inch thick and arrange on serving platter. Pour fig sauce over the pork medallions and serve at once. Copyright, 2008, Deborah Dal Fovo

    About Chef Deborah Dal Fovo, culinary instructor
    An accomplished Chef and authority on the fine art of Italian living, Deborah Dal Fovo mastered her culinary education in Italian food and wine hands-on from some of Italy's finest and most renowned chefs, winemakers and food producers. Her formal culinary studies include classic training at French Master Chef Roger Vergé's legendary cooking school in Mougins, France.

    Deborah's love of food and cooking began at home in her Northern Italian-American household inspiring her to return to Italy where she lived in both Milan and Tuscany for 20 years while traveling extensively throughout Italy cultivating the country's diverse regional flavors and culinary traditions.

    A dual citizen of Italy and the United States, Deborah now lives primarily in Northern California and shares her vast Italian experience with the U.S. as a Private Chef, Cooking Instructor, Italian Lifestyle expert and an enthusiastic Italian ambassador of good taste.

    Deborah Dal Fovo currently teaches authentic Italian Cooking classes at Draegers, Ramekins, Relish, Sur la Table, and VIVA cooking schools and at her own private classes in San Francisco and Marin County.

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