This special-occasion dish from Georgeanne Brennan’s latest book, La Vie Rustic: Cooking & Living in the French Style, Fig-Glazed and Fig-Stuffed Pork Rib Roast, boasts both a glaze and a pan sauce.
Fig-Glazed and Fig-Stuffed Pork Rib Roast
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- For pork:
- 1 (3-pound) bone-in pork loin roast, about 4 ribs
- 4 dried figs, any variety
- 7 fresh ripe figs, any variety, divided
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- For glaze:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup dry red wine, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir
- 3 dried figs, any variety, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- For pan sauce:
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- For pork: Preheat oven to 475°.
- Use a sharp knife to separate the rib bones from the roast, keeping the knife as close as possible to the bones as you cut the ribs away in one sheet. Set aside roast and ribs.*
- Trim stems from dried figs and 4 fresh figs. Chop dried and fresh figs.
- In a small bowl, place chopped figs, brandy, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, sage, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Let stand until you can mash the mixture with the back of a fork to make a paste, about 15 minutes. (Dried figs can take some time to soften.)
- Rub meat and bones well with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, or more to taste. With the bone side of meat facing you, pack roast with fig stuffing. Push ribs back in place, making sure they are returned in the same direction as they were cut, and tie them on with several pieces of kitchen twine. (It may be easier to do this if you have someone to help you.)
- For glaze: In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup water, wine, dried figs, honey, and sage. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until figs are soft and glaze is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain glaze through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on figs with the back of a spoon; discard solids.
- In an ovenproof skillet, place stuffed roast, bone-side down; bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Baste roast with glaze, and continue roasting, basting several more times with glaze, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion reaches 145°, about 45 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer roast to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, slice remaining 3 fresh figs. Set aside.
- To carve roast, snip twine and gently remove sheet of ribs. Carve the roast into ¼- to ½-inch slices. Arrange pork slices on a platter. Slice between ribs to separate them, and arrange those on the platter, too. Cover loosely with foil, and set aside.
- For pan sauce: Pour collected juices from the carving board into a saucepan, along with any succulent bits from the roasting pan (don’t include any burned bits). Add red wine, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in butter, and continue to cook until reduced by approximately half, about 5 minutes. Drizzle pan sauce over sliced pork, and top with reserved sliced fresh figs. Serve immediately.
*If preferred, you may ask your butcher to separate the rib bones from the roast in a single piece and tie them back on. Snip string before stuffing roast.
Read more about acclaimed chef Georgeanne Brennan in “To Provence, with Love” on page 57 of the July/August 2018 issue of Victoria magazine, and purchase a signed copy of her latest cookbook, La Vie Rustic: Cooking and Living in the French Style, in our online shop.