Day Thirty Five: Pork Roast Stuffed with Figs and Caramelized Onions

9 Oct

It felt so great to be cooking good food again, especially pork shoulder (of course). We’ve  started to have a chill in the air and leaves are becoming increasingly yellow (we don’t have “real” Fall colors, unfortunately). While I love the summer, I’m excited for this new season – the food associated with Fall is my favorite, and this was no exception at all.

This dish requires some prep time, but you could definitely do it in steps and certain elements ahead of time. To make it easier, make the caramelized onions the night before or earlier in the morning, same goes for the figs.

The flavor of this was fantastic. It had just the right enough sweetness that went very well with the rosemary mashed potatoes and the red wine sauce, with its  subtle hint of orange. The pork held together for slicing, but was incredibly tender. I’d guess this would be a great addition to the Christmas table – warm flavors that lend itself to a million great sides.

Another thing I loved about this dish? It was amazing as leftovers. We don’t have a microwave at home, so leftovers are sometimes a challenge. I just put a few thin slices (it is easier to slice this once it has been chilled) with some sauce and a bit of water in a small skillet and reheated it over a simmer. Delicious!

Pork Roast Stuffed with Figs and Caramelized Onions

  • 3 small sweet onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, plus zest of one orange
  • 2 cups dried figs, halved
  • 12tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 pork shoulder, ~4lbs, butterflied
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

To caramelize the onions, place butter and olive oil in a skilled over medium-high heat. When melted and foam has subsided, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until getting soft and they begin to brown. Lower head to medium-low and add the sugar, stirring. Continue to cook until onions are dark brown and soft (about 30 to 40 min). Reserve for later.

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of red wine, orange juice and zest, figs, 1 tbsp rosemary and 1 tbsp thyme to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and save for later.

Drain the figs and reserve the liquid. Open up the pork shoulder and spread the caramelized onions. To the figs, add the remaining herbs and garlic. Spread 3/4 of the mixture over the pork and onions. Using twine, tie the shoulder in a few places snugly. Season with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan.

Roast pork for 2 hours. Add the remaining 2 cups of wine. Continue to cook for another 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. Stir in the remaining figs and reserved soaking liquid and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Pour juices from roasting pan into skillet or sauce pan; reduce liquid until it is about 2 cups. Season as needed with salt and pepper.

Slice pork and drizzle with sauce.


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