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Anise Pork with Figs and Apples

Yield 4

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed aniseed or fennel seeds
  • Four 6-ounce boneless pork loin steaks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-thick tart apple slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 dried Calimyrna figs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

How to Make It

  1. Sprinkle the aniseed on both sides of the pork chops and season with salt and pepper. In a large nonreactive skillet, heat the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the pork steaks and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook the pork until firm and barely pink inside, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the meat to a plate.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the apple slices and cook, turning, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and cook until the apple slices are just tender, about 1 minute. Add the figs and the remaining 6 tablespoons orange juice, increase the heat to moderately high and simmer to blend flavors, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Season the sauce with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Return the pork and any juices; reheat briefly. Serve at once.

  4. Serve With: Rice, wild rice, or barley.