Boneless Pork Chops in a Shallot-Fig Reduction Sauce



I know what you're thinking.  Weeknight dinner and  the culinary term reduction are two words that do not go together.  But I double-dare swear that they do.  This recipe is so perfect for any night that is filled with reckless activities caused by our busy and crazy lives.  This recipe will take you back to the simple life you crave.

You cannot get this from a box, you cannot get this from an ox.  You cannot find this here or there, but you can make this in your underwear...or something like that.

I mean are you tired of your pathetic nightly dinners ?  Does your family dread the dreaded chicken recipe again?  Have you been wanting your inner-chef-dom-tendencies to shine through without much effort?  This is your lucky day.

This simplistic, tasty, somewhat-savory, somewhat-sweet dinner is for you.  It is by far the most effortless (well, I guess McDonald's would be more effortless) weeknight meal you could possibly throw together.  And it's so good, you could even serve it for Sunday night dinner.  After making this, no one will believe you've running around like a maniac all day.

I've always hated pork chops.  They are always dry, tough and just blah.  However, the quick cooking time coupled with this sauce keeps this dish moist and delicious.  No one will believe you made this sauce from scratch.  NO ONE!

So c'mon, let's give it a try.  You say, "I can't".  I have three kids at baseball practice at three different fields.  No problem.  One kid at gymnastics and another at the tutor.  No worries.  Two kids at the library, one science project to help with, four kids at judo and a blog to write.  I've got your back.  Let's get started.


Here are the ingredients to this simplistic meal.  Have I convinced you yet that it's simple?  So get out your pork chops (boneless, pork loin thin sliced chops) (they are at your grocery store, trust me), dried figs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot, beef broth (or stock), cornstarch, salt & pepper for seasoning.  Seriously, that's it.  Onward!


Let's do some recipe prep before we start cooking.  This is Mr. Shallot.  He loves reading autobiographical novels (Life As An Onion; an Ode to Underground Living is a favorite), taking long walks on the beach and reciting poetry in dark smoky clubs.  He adores reality TV and drinking French wine.


Now even though we have developed a long and enduring relationship with Mr. Shallot, he had some terrible and really nasty things to say about Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell from American Idol.  These comments were not acceptable to the person who writes this blog.  I'm sorry to say we had to sacrifice him (see above picture).  Chop him very, very finely, his comments were completely out of line and down right RUDE!


Okay, let's have a vote.  Who thinks little Miss Sun-Maid needs to update her look.  Maybe a bob haircut and a tricked out bonnet? 

Anyway, go grab the figs, you know the ones you bought two months ago to put in a salad dressing recipe and you used two of them.  They're in your pantry, right over there, next to the prunes...yeah grab em'.


Yes, I know, I cannot imagine a more un-appetizing picture.  Now these little guys might be the little ugly-ducklings of the culinary world but they redeem themselves in the flavor they bring to this dish.  I promise.  You will need 9 dried figs.


Now because I need to amuse myself at all times the figs and I decided to have a contest.  The stakes were high, the losers would become gastronomic roadkill.


It didn't go well for any of them. And they were all very sore losers.  Chop, chop!


Now your prepped.  So season your chops with salt and pepper and preheat a nonstick skillet on med-high heat.


Grab the olive oil.  This is hands down my favorite brand of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  It really makes a difference in cooking and ESPECIALLY in salads.  It has that really fruity taste that "real chefs" are always talking about.  Plus I like saying, "De Cecco" with a thick Italian accent; it annoys the Wild Boar to no end.


Add 2 Tablespoons to the preheated skillet.  Glug, glug.


Now, add your chops to the pan.  Only do four at a time, remove and add any others you might have; this will keep the temperature of the pan from falling too low.


Fry them on one side for 2 minutes and flip over for another 2 minutes.  The goal here is not to cook them all the way through, you will finish that later.  Now remove them from the pan and keep warm.


Throw nasty Mr. Shallot into the pan with the olive oil left over from cooking the chops.  Cook the shallot until softened, about 3 minutes.  Shallots everywhere will think twice before they diss reality TV show personalities.  But don't pity Mr. Shallot. what he said was very, very malicious and rooted in jealousy.


Find the beef broth.  If you happen to have beef stock this would be to die for.  But let's face it that is probably not a reality for most of us so grab your stash of broth from the pantry.


Add 2 cups of beef broth to the pan with the shallots.


Now get your bottle of balsamic vinegar.  This has to be the stickiest thing in my pantry.  I had to wipe it off before taking this crappy photo.


Add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.


Remember the figs?  Well add your chopped figs to the sauce.  These will soften and taste divine.  Don't say you don't like figs.  These do not taste like fresh figs from a tree.  I hate those too.

Let the sauce come to a boil, simmering until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.


Now let's thicken things up with King of the thin sauce fixer upper...Cornstarch...my magical kitchen friend.


Add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch to a small bowl.  Add a small amount of cold water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved with no clumps.


Slowly pour the dissolved cornstarch into the already reduced sauce a little at a time stirring to incorporate.  Don't pour it in all at once, to avoid clumping.  Let cook for one minute and watch it thicken...it's very exciting.


Add your chops back to the sauce and cover the pan to finish cooking; about 2-3 minutes or until done.  Remove the chops from the pan and pour the sauce over the top.


If you think your kids won't like the figs or shallots just pick them off like I do for mine.  The sauce is so yummy...They. Will. Love. It.  And you will once again be proclaimed a kitchen god.


Look at that sauce...I'm telling you, it's a happy night at my house when I make this.  It seriously takes about 20-25 minutes to throw this together.  Unless, you talk to your food like I do.  Then it takes longer.  I know, I have problems.


Last picture....enjoy.

Print Recipe

Boneless Pork Chops in a Shallot-Fig Reduction Sauce

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs boneless pork loin, thin sliced chops
  • 2 cups beef broth or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 9 dried figs, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  • Preheat a nonstick skillet. Add olive oil and fry pork chops in batches, 2 minutes per side and remove from pan; keep warm. Add shallot to the pan and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add beef broth, balsamic vinegar and figs. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add cornstarch, cook 1 minute.
  • Add chops back to the pan and cover. Simmer 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Remove the chops from the pan and pour sauce all over. Serve immediately.


I hope you all enjoy it and remember this is an easy and fast dinner.

Post a Comment

37 Comments

  1. Lovely… Where did I leave those figs???
    Here figgy, figgy!

    Reply
  2. Yum! This sounds delicious!

    Reply
  3. This looks great. I love the combo of figs and pork. I make a simple pork tenderloin that I stuff with chopped figs, and gorgonzola. Super simple, and deliciously deceiving. Better than chicken anyday!

    Reply
  4. kate 4

    i love the figs standing in a line photo, and that meal looks so good, i’m wondering how i can duplicate in a meatless way. i’ll let you know what i figure out. yum. in all kinds of ways.

    Reply
  5. Kevin 5

    Those pork chops look so good! The fig and balsamic reduction sounds really tasty. I like the step by step photos!

    Reply
  6. Wow, these look amazing! I’ve gotta tell you, I love the way you layout the recipes with step by step photo’s. Easy to follow and most of all, looks fun and delicious wanting me to try it at home!

    Keep it coming :)

    Reply
  7. Hey, I want a magical kitchen friend, too! And I’d like to prepare gourmet food and settle discrepancies among my vegetables while in my underwear.

    YOU ROCK, NOBLE PIG!!!

    Reply
  8. pam 8

    Yay! I have everything to make this! I’ve bookmarked it, can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  9. Maggie 9

    You are so awesome. You just make EVERYTHING sound interesting and fun and worthwhile. Even – *gasp* – cooking!

    Reply
  10. peabody 10

    Those pork chopes look fabulous!

    Reply
  11. amy 11

    Okay, honestly I don’t know about the figs. Figs scare me. But I am a sauce girl, and that sauce looks DIVINE. So I’m thinking I will definitely try this one!

    Reply
  12. Brandy 12

    I know I’m coming to the party late but I just wanted to add:

    1) This is an amazing recipe and oh so good
    2) There are no figs in the state of Louisiana – we have a strict ‘no figs allowed’ policy – so I used dates instead and it was still really good.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  13. ruthie 13

    I stumbled upon this yesterday and made it tonight. So tasty and easy. Can’t wait to make it again. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. I just stumbled on this recipe and stopped dead in my tracks. Great job! This is a deliciously seductive dish.

    Reply
  15. Doug 15

    Hey, I love this recipe! The figs make it, and I love to cook with shallots. Tomorrow night is liftoff. Keep it coming!

    Reply
  16. Another Doug 16

    I’m trying this one tonight. I love figs, shallots, and balsamic vinegar. Combined they should make a great sauce.

    Reply
  17. Stefani 17

    Love the detailed pictures.

    Reply
  18. harmony 18

    food porn! *drool*!!
    .. i didn’t have beef stock, but i had chicken… waiting on it now!hope its still as awesome!

    Reply
  19. Kathy 19

    I thought this would be a wonderful dish because I love figs, pork and balsamic – it was easy and looked good, but I thought the seeds were just too much and took something from the dish. Another dried fruit without seeds might work, I’ll have to try it.

    Reply
  20. Sarah 20

    I *just* got done cleaning up after making this for a dinner party with a couple of friends, and they were a HUGE hit! I’m so making them again!!

    Reply
  21. Naz 21

    trying something similar tonight, using chicken stock instead of beef, and dried cranberries instead of figs (all i had on hand). also dredging the pork chops ahead of time in flour. we’ll see how it turns out!

    Reply
  22. This looks fantastic! I can’t wait to make it!

    Reply
  23. This looks super yummy! Can’t wait to try it. I make a similar dish with chicken but pork sounds much better. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  24. Hi,
    When i kiss my girlfriend on her lips her upper lip get swallow and become red in color what to do?

    Reply
  25. Laura L. 25

    What would you recommend this be served with? Both sides/wine? I’ve had this bookmarked forever and I’m finally going to try it.

    Reply
  26. Laura L. 26

    Where can I buy figs? I went to two different stores on a mission to make these chops and have yet to find them! Is there something else I can substitute for them if I can’t find them?

    Reply
  27. Noble Pig 27

    Interesting. Dried figs are in every grocery store I shop, from small Mom & Pops to big chain stores.  I have tried this with other dried fruit and it’s just not the same.  The figs are usually in the snack aisle next to the raisins.  Good luck.

    Reply
  28. Noble Pig 28

    This is perfect with mashed potatoes and asparagus. As for the wine, Syrah is my choice.

    Reply
  29. KelleBelle 29

    This recipe sounds divine! I will be making this next week for the inevitable “what do we want for dinner?” night. And I love your commentary on each ingredient, especially that sad police line-up of the dried figs. I half-expected little prisoner numbers under each one. I’m a new fan of this blog!

    Reply
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  31. Partypoodle 31

    This entrée is delicious. When I made it for my 89 year-old mom, I used chicken breasts. I asked her, “How do you like the figs?” She replied, “This isn’t pig, it’s clearly chicken!” I smile every time I pull the recipe out to use it.
    I LOVE the photos, thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  32. Cherisse 32

    Made this today and it was a big hit! New to your site and enjoying it very much. Can’t wait to try more recipes.

    Reply
  33. Marni 33

    I wonder if fresh figs would work…I’ve never found dried figs here, but right now the market has fresh.

    Reply
  34. Kelly 34

    Took this recipe and ran with it in a bit of a different direction. I used 2 tablespoons of Chambord and 1 heavy tablespoon of triple berry preserves in stead of figs. Served with garlic cheese mashed potatoes. Delicious!

    Reply
  35. Renee 35

    yum!!! I just recently made something similar! I work for Vom Fass and we have this amazing fig-chili balsamic vinegar. I reduced the vinegar with shallots and beef broth and made a glaze for the pork chops! It was delicious… And added a little spicy kick. I also used it for a marinade for chicken and grilled it. We have just a fig balsamic too if you don’t like spicy :) I was really excited to see your post! I think more folks need to use figs!! They are amazing! You should check out our vinegars… So many yummy possibilities! I love experimenting.

    Reply
  36. Peggy Finger 36

    Even easier using shallot infused olive oil and fig balsamic! Thanks for the idea for my next tasting. I love your site and I use your recipes often.
    Mercato di O/V. We’re in Midland Mi and don’t do online ordering. No competition here, just cudos!

    Reply
  37. Lynn 37

    I have not tried this yet but your writing cracked me up! Thanks for the smile!! :)

    Reply

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