Going against my instincts to cook a pretty exotic fruit stuffed pork steak.

Fruit Stuffed Pork Steak (19 of 20)

No, I have not become a vegetarian or a vegan or anything else beginning with ‘v’. No, my instincts about stuffed pork steak was honed and formed many years ago. Back in the day, pork steaks were stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsley and some scant seasoning. They would then be cremated “…to be sure the meat is cooked”. Dry pork steak stuffed with even dryer breadcrumbs makes me think of eating a piece of wet leather retrieved from a sawmill floor. Not that I have ever done such a thing. Though, I think you get my drift….

Having cooked Char Sui Pork using a pork steak, I got to thinking about other ways one could possibly cook a succulent pork steak. The meat of the pig works well with fruit so, my dull creative brain decided that we should give Pretty Exotic Fruit Stuffed Pork Steak a whirl. I ended up serving it with a couscous for some exotic effect (or possibly affect, if I am honest).

The ingredients for my exotic fruit stuffed pork steak.

The ingredients for my exotic fruit stuffed pork steak.

 The ingredients (exotic and not)

  • 2 pork steaks
  • A handful or two of raisins
  • 2 handfuls of dried apricots
  • 4 or 5 shallots
  • 16 dried figs
  • About the same amount of walnuts as raisins
  • Enough brandy to soak the figs
  • About the same volume of breadcrumbs as walnuts or raisins
  • A tablespoon of honey
  • A couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season

First thing to do is to soak the figs in brandy. Do this a few hours before anything else.

The dried figs are brought to a level of some decadence by soaking them in brandy.

The dried figs are brought to a level of some decadence by soaking them in brandy.

Next you need to do a fair bit of chopping. Chop the apricots and walnuts.

We all like a nice chopping shot. So, I thought I would oblige.

We all like a nice chopping shot. So, I thought I would oblige.

Do likewise with the shallots.

The shallots need to be sliced nice and thin. This is exotic, remember. Thin = exotic, doesn't it?

The shallots need to be sliced nice and thin. This is exotic, remember. Thin = exotic, doesn’t it?

Do likewise with the dried figs.

You agree that this is exotic stuff, don't you?

You agree that this is exotic stuff, don’t you?

Reserve the brandy and add the honey.

Lovely brandy and honey marinade for the meat. To help keep it moist and exotic.

Lovely brandy and honey marinade for the meat. To help keep it moist and exotic.

Fry the finely chopped shallots in some olive oil.

The sign of a good frying pan. Nice, even heat distribution.

The sign of a good frying pan. Nice, even heat distribution.

Mix together everything (including the frying oil) except the brandy mixture, the pork steaks and the thyme in a big mixing bowl.

Now, that's an exotic stuffing mixture, if ever one saw one.

Now, that’s an exotic stuffing mixture, if ever one saw one.

Now comes the bit most people hate doing. Remove the membrane and all the white bits from the steaks.  This is best shown in a photo.

The camera shows exactly what has to be done here. Man or woman up and do it.

The camera shows exactly what has to be done here. Man or woman up and do it. Do it all!

Then cut the pork steak almost all the way through, cut through the sides to flatten it out ready for stuffing.

Some pretty accurate slicing needed to get this right.

Some pretty accurate slicing needed to get this right.

Flatten the steak with the side of the knife to make it easer to stuff.

Flattening it this way adds to the surface area without destroying the meat.

Flattening it this way adds to the surface area without destroying the meat.

Sprinkle the thyme on the meat and season it.

The first layer of flavour is the thyme, placed next to the meat for infusion.

The first layer of flavour is the thyme, placed next to the meat for infusion.

Spoon on the exotic stuffing mixture.

The mixture is good enough to eat on it's own at this stage. Don't do it.

The mixture is good enough to eat on its own at this stage. Don’t do it.

Do some exotic folding and tying using cotton food grade string. Follow the idea in the photo.

This caused more trouble than the photo would imply.

This caused more trouble than the photo would imply.

Brown the steaks in the frying pan.

My pan is only big enough to do them one at a time.

My pan is only big enough to do them one at a time.

Transfer to an oven dish and bake them in the oven for half an hour at 190º C. Baste it occasionally with the honey / brandy mixture.

Totally gratuitous meat shot. Jus tin case you wanted one.

Totally gratuitous meat shot. Jus tin case you wanted one.

Let the meat rest for ten minutes, covered in foil before carving and serving.

They looked pretty exotic at this stage of things.

They looked pretty exotic at this stage of things.

As stated above, and for those who rush to the end of the post, we served with couscous spiced up with some red chili and red onion and then poured the brandy / honey pan juices over the meat.

Pork does not get much more exotic than this.

Pork does not get much more exotic than this.

I am glad I went against my instincts. I baked a big tinfoil parcel of the stuffing separately and served it on the side. Do go pretty exotic and try this delicious dish. We served it with a couple of glasses of this little French number. Just about right with the fruity pork.

Don't ask why I left the lens cap in the photo. I have no excuses.

Don’t ask why I left the lens cap in the photo. I have no excuses.

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Latest comments
  • I think that looks delicious. I have tried pork and apricot before but wasn’t as fancy as this!

    • Hi Jacqui,
      Not a lot of my cooking falls into the ‘fancy’ category. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
      Best,
      Conor

  • That’s looks great!! nice instructions also, cheers

    • Thanks, it’s easy enough, as long as one gets the slicing right.

  • Your pork steak or as we call tenderloin does sound exotic with the fruit stuffing. I’ve made something similar but just with figs…I like your combination of fruits and nuts.

    • Hi Karen,
      Thanks for that. I would love to try it with fresh figs and honey. I suspect it would be wonderful, if messy.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Yes, the pork had me salivating and wondering how I could adapt your exotic fruit stuffing to my roast pork shoulder for tomorrow’s dinner. But what really had my tastebuds going was the Pineau. You.Can.Not.Buy.It.Here. At all. I’m very partial to a glass of chilled pineau as an aperitif…

    • The pineau is impossible to get anywhere outside the regions in France. Thankfully, I am going over in a couple of months and can stock up a bit…

  • I would not call this exotic but just hugely appetizing. I like the way you have balanced the sweetness of the fruit with shallots and thyme, which is quite one of my favourite herbs [I can actually cut it from outdoor herb pots thru’ winter!] Couscous sounds so right with it . . .

    Off topic: would so love to be in Ireland this coming weekend for the beginning of Giro d’Italia! Tho’ wonder why just two days in Belfast and then one Armagh > Dublin day . . . would so very much like to have seen more of the Emerald Isle, even at 2 am, when it will finish each night our time 😀 !!

  • Oh yum, yum, yum – +1 for the dried figs there, Conor! Right up my street.

  • Looks fantastic. I don’t know why I never go with a pork steak. Perhaps I just don’t see recipes that really inspire. Well, this one inspires! Lovely stuffing. Like the fig infused Hennessy idea.

  • It sounds absolutely delicious! I don’t know why but this recipe makes me think about the crusaders…

  • Looks amazing Conor! Got me thinking that this is something that I should try making! Be well – Jane

  • Figs, brandy and honey. Yum. Your photos are beautiful!

    • Thanks Amanda, I enjoyed shooting this one.

  • Last summer we had a bumper crop of plums and I made a ton of chutney with it. I like to make a roulade with it. One of my favorite dishes.

    • Thanks for that Steph. You have given me ideas around chutney. There never seems to be a jar in the fridge.

  • What a fabulous stuffing. I bet that would go well with lamb as well. Delicious!

    • Thanks, It worked just fine. No matter what one does, the pork meat tends to err on the dry side. The fruity interior helps.

      • It can get tricky. Thank goodness pork goes well with a lot of different fruit to help it keep moist.

  • This looks marvelous. And your last photo and description under it gave me a good chuckle. 😀

  • Like you, I remember lots of dry, stuffed, industrial pork presentations back in the day. Now that there’s so much good pork (and we know it needn’t be cooked to death), it would be a shame not to revive them. This looks great, and I love the photo captions.

    • Thanks Michelle. Certainly prok is a lot safer today than back then. I would be cremating it myself if I thought some of the risks were still there.

  • Very nice my friend… unusual… exotic… creative… sounds just like me in bed 🙂

  • The moment I saw those figs soaking in the brandy, I’m like yes! As for pork and fruit combinations apples are the ultimate favourite. With some Calvados and sultanas, I’m pretty happy.

    Will definitely try the figs next time.

    • Thanks Alice,
      Roast pork with apple sauce is a staple in these parts. Some calvados and sultanas in the sauce could be a lovely addition.

  • Good stuff. “…and then it was cremated.” Ha! The stuffing was to provide nourishment during its journey to the afterlife. Great post, but to be honest, I don’t recognize the cut of pork at all. It looks almost like a loin to me. Pork “steaks” in the US are thin scallop shaped pieces cut from the shoulder or leg. Yours looks much more substantial than that. Ken

    • Hi Ken,
      It’s a tenderloin in your language. I really should have translated it for the US. Sloppy of me!
      Best,
      C

  • Wow, impressed. I can’t stop snacking on dried figs and keep thinking it’s time to try pork steaks again. Ding! This recipe I will be giving a go for sure ! Thanks Conor 🙂

  • Oh Conor, I so missed your sense of humour! 🙂 This pork dish looks divine. And I see your photography is just as wonderful as ever. 🙂

    • Thanks Lidia,
      So good to have you back.
      Conor

  • Conor, trust your instincts. Fruit + pork + a touch of the exotic = something wonderful. So elegant yet so simple. Well done, as usual.

    • Hi Tommy,
      Thanks you. Kind comments from the independent republic are always welcomed.
      Best,
      Conor

  • As much as I like the dish Conor, I must also congratulate on the tying. After all these years, attempting it still ends in a lot of cursing in my kitchen….

    • Good of you to notice Phil. It wasn’t a thing that I got right first (or second) go.

  • I can’t even believe how amazing this looks! I am a huge pork tenderloin fan and this elevated recipe would be such a nice change from the way I usually prepare it.

    • Great Geni. Very happy to help out. It is pretty tasty and easy to prepare.

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