You can use your slow cooker for this lean cut of meat and still get moist results! The figs plump up in the cooking liquid and it all gets a whirl in the blender for a lush sweet sauce to serve with the pork. —Anna Francese Gass
4 to 6
Pork tenderloins, approx 4 to 5 lbs total, each halved
Garlic cloves, minced
Pancetta, cut into small cubes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
dried black mission figs, destemmed and chopped
Remove silverskin from both pork tenderloins. Based on the size of your slow cooker, you may have to cut in half.
Generously rub pork with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Set aside.
If your slow cooker has a saute option, you can set that now. If not, get a large pan and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add minced shallot, garlic and pancetta. Render down until pancetta is nice and crispy. Remove from pan or slow cooker.
Add pork tenderloins to the pan and sear on all sides until nice and brown.
Deglaze pan with sherry and add figs. Place all in slow cooker and add 1 cup chicken stock.
Set slow cooker for 4 hours. You can remove after three or let this stay for up to four if necessary but will become dry and brittle after that. At the two hour mark, flip each piece so that the 'bark' is a consistent dark brown on both sides.
Remove pork to cutting board and cut on a bias. Use a sharp knife to get nice pieces, or else it will begin to fall apart.
Take all cooking liquid and put in blender. Blend on high, adding 1 cup hot water to thin to a nice sauce. If you want it more like jus, add more water, if you want it more like a compote, add less. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Serve sauce under each piece of pork or pour over for a more family style presentation.