Not only is fall the mushroom season, but it is also the best time for figs and chestnuts. They all have an “earthy” quality, but with different textures. Remember to look out for packaged cooked and peeled chestnuts, which are really good and save a lot of time, too! I have given you the option of cooking the pork in different ways and I hope you’ll try both methods to appreciate the differences in flavor, color and texture.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus making the stock.
– COOKING TIME 15 minutes.
– 4 pieces pork tenderloin, about 5 ounces each, trimmed.
– 5 tablespoons unsalted butter.
– 2 tablespoons sunflower oil.
– 7 ounces mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms.
– 12 cooked whole chestnuts.
– 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar.
– 2 medium-firm figs, quartered.
– ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Chicken Stock.
– 1 tablespoon snipped chives.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
– boiled rice, to serve (optional).
Step 2: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the pork and cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until it is brown all over. The pork should still be slightly pink in the middle, which is perfect. (Alternatively, brown the pork in an ovenproof skillet as above, then, instead of steaming, transfer it to an oven heated to 275°F and roast 7 to 9 minutes. Remove it from the oven and leave to rest 1 minute before continuing with the recipe.)
Step 3: While the pork is cooking, melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter and the remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and fry 2 minutes until they release all their juices and are golden brown. Add the chestnuts and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the sherry vinegar and deglaze the pan by stirring to remove any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom. Add the figs, pour in the stock and cook 3 to 4 minutes until the stock reduces by one-quarter, then add the remaining butter. Cook 2 minutes longer, or until the sauce reduces and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the chives.
Step 4: Cut each pork tenderloin into diagonal slices and spoon the mushroom mixture over the top before serving with rice, if you like.