Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
One of the first recipes that I posted on Delishably, and which I continue to make regularly, is Rustic French Pork and Prunes. It is one of my favorites, as pork works wonderfully with sweet flavors.
On its own, pork is somewhat bland, and it lacks beef's inherent wonderful meaty flavor. On the other hand, pork has the advantage—rather like chicken—of being great at picking up flavor. In the pork and prunes recipe, the pork picks up the concentrated flavor of wine and chicken stock, as well as delicate French herbs, and then receives a wonderful jolt of sweetness from the prunes.
But in the eternal quest to use up stuff that has been accumulating in the refrigerator, one of the things that I happened upon was the idea of using up a Chinese plum sauce. Plum is another flavor that matches superbly with pork. Not only that, but I have found that sauteeing pork in sauces is a great way to lock the flavor. So my mind sprung to the idea of using the plum sauce to give an additional sweetness to it, while also pairing apricots as a fruit, since I thought prunes would be too similar to plums in terms of flavor.
The result, I thought, more than spoke for itself. It had a deep, rich, almost haunting flavor produced the inclusion of heavy cream, married to a nice sweetness of the pork infused with the plum flavor, the richness of stock and reduced wine, the savory onions which pervade it all—and all so tender, so easy to eat! It is particularly great over rice or another grain that allows the sauce to soak into it.
- 2 pounds pork
- 12 apricots, quartered
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 8 ounces plum sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the meat into the desired size. I would recommend 1-inch to 2-inch cubes, as this would provide for the greatest capacity for the meat to absorb the sauce, but noisettes or larger sizes work as well. Salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until it is shimmering, then add in the meat cubes. Saute on both sides until browned, then add in the plum sauce and continue to cook for around 1 minute while moving the pork cubes around constantly to work in the plum flavor. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in the skillet; then put in the diced onions. Cook until they are soft but only starting to turn brown. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and simmer 2 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Return to the boil; then simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced to half.
- Add the quartered apricots, meat, and cream. Simmer lightly for 8 minutes. If one wants, it can absorb the sauce for an additional period, then heated again finally at the end. Serve over rice or another grain to soak up the sauce.
Ryan Thomas (author) from Eureka, California on July 13, 2021:
Yes, it is always a pleasure to cook new recipes for me and my family. I hope you enjoy this one!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 13, 2021:
Sweet pork sounds delicious. You sound like you enjoy cooking