Friday, November 22, 2013

Asian pear, fig and ginger chutney

When it comes to the flavour of pork, I'll take it or leave it. What I love is how imaginative you can get with accompaniments; pork can handle almost anything. In previous posts, I've skewered and grilled it with hunks of juicy, late-summer peaches, stuffed it with a sweet and salty combination of candied pecans, dried figs and blue cheese, and brushed it with a homemade sweet and sticky BBQ sauce, then slow-cooked it until it's falling off the bone

This time I wanted to try a homemade chutney accompaniment. We had a wholesale-sized bag of refrigerated dried figs (not realizing upon purchase they would need that precious real estate in the fridge), and thus a seed of a recipe idea was born. Asian pears (apple texture, pear flavour) and ginger rounded out the trio really nicely. Two things to note: I used candied ginger left over from a baking experiment, and reduced the quantity of sugar slightly. But fresh ginger would work just as well and that's what I suggest below. Also, the first night I left the chutney chunky, as in the photo below. When we wound up with leftovers, I decided to puree it and liked that even better! So my advice is to follow the steps below and ignore the photo. The chutney will keep for up to a week in the fridge; canning would extend its shelf life. Next time I may try adding a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to the chutney as well.


Coarsely chop 3 Asian pears, 1 cup dried figs,  2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic. Peel and grate 2T ginger.  Heat 1T vegetable oil over medium heat, then add shallots, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until shallots become translucent. Add fruit, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I served the chutney with a pork roast that I'd rubbed with Dijon, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and pepper before cooking.

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