This started out as a French dish then took a detour around the Mediterranean with stops in North Africa.
That happens sometimes when I have an idea that is not fully formed when I get into the kitchen. I start pulling herbs and spices out of the cabinet and go from there.
Prunes are a big crop locally.
Okay, so plums are the crop but the French word for plum is prune. (French for prune is pruneau.)
The Pruneaux d’Agen are famous throughout Europe – Agen being the city at the center of the plum growing region.
There are a lot of almonds in the area too…..
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Braised Pork with Almonds & Prunes
This can be done in a tagine or large skillet with lid. Serve with potatoes, rice or couscous.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Pork
- 14oz (400gr) pork loin, cut into large cubes
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch saffron threads, crushed
- 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) white wine
- 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken stock
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 8 large prunes, stones removed
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbs water
- Heat oil in skillet or tagine.
- Add pork and brown well. Remove to a plate.
- Add onion, garlic, spices, and sauté until onion is tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Return pork to pan, add stock, wine, saffron, cover, reduce heat and braise for 30 minutes.
- Add almonds, prunes, and braise 15 minutes longer
- Add cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened.
You could use dried apricots in place of the prunes.
Keywords: braised pork, pork with prunes
I debated over whether or not to call this a ‘tagine’ even though I cooked it in my tagine and I cooked it like a traditional tagine.
Let me tell you why with a story….
I grew up in a very small town in Wisconsin, less then 300 people. I went to a small state university.
My cousin lived in ‘the city’ and went to a private women’s college. Without going into the tortuous details, I’ll just tell you that she became a member of the neighboring private men’s college geology club. She was their only female member. When they went on overnight field trips she invited me to go along – so there would be 2 women (partners in crime).
Eventually, the guys invited me to be a member in my own right.
On one field trip to the Black Hills (South Dakota) my cousin couldn’t go so I invited one of my small town friends.
In retrospect I think we women were included because we would take charge of the food and do most of the cooking.
We camped, of course, in tents.
On this trip there was a new member: a young man from Kuwait. I remember how much fun it was to show him snow for the first time, up in the hills….
I also remember how my ignorance almost caused an international incident.
I’d never heard of Kuwait before.
I knew nothing about the Muslim religion.
I bought pork chops.
As I was preparing dinner, over a campfire out in the middle of nowhere, our advisor took me aside and asked me if I knew what I had done.
Of course I didn’t know! I had no idea! Had I known I wouldn’t have done it!
Between my profuse apologies, explanations of small town ignorance, etc., the apologies of the club adviser and the eventual return of the good nature of the young man, (plus a trip back to town for some beef steaks) an incident was avoided.
He was the son of the ambassador.
Tagines are traditional Berber dishes from North Africa.
One will not find a pork tagine in a Muslim country.
I could not bring myself to call this a tagine…..
Some lessons are never forgotten.