Pork Loin with Chestnuts, Hazelnuts and Dried Figs
The combination of meats with nuts and dried fruits is a favorite in the contemporary Greek kitchen. This dish goes well with a glass of Northern Greek Xinomavro red wine.
- 1 ½ kilos 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or leg
- Olive oil as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups dry red wine
- 2 large onions coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ kilo 1 lb. chestnuts, boiled, peeled and whole
- 2/3 cup local hazelnuts toasted
- 8-10 dried figs trimmed and halved
Rub the pork loins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet and brown the pork. Add the onions and stir for 2-3 minutes, just until softened. Raise the heat and pour in the wine. As soon as it steams up, add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and half the chestnuts. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
Transfer the meat and all the pot juices to a medium size baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking the loin until tender, about 30 minutes. About halfway through baking, add the remaining chestnuts, hazelnuts and figs. Remove from the oven when the meat is tender, let cool slightly, and serve, with mashed potatoes or plain hilopites, if desired.