With summer in full swing, now is the time to take full advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Ripe fruit is juicy and sweet, while tomatoes are slightly acidic. Together, they create balance to a simple pan sauce that pairs perfectly with wild game. I love this recipe because it’s easy to pull off on a weeknight with almost any type of meat in your freezer.
- 2 lb. hog backstrap
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes*
- 3-4 peaches, apricots, or nectarines
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tbsp. butter, chopped
- ¼ cup basil, sliced or torn (optional)
- Oil for cooking
- Salt and pepper
* If using cherries for venison or duck, only use about 1 cup of pitted cherries and omit the tomatoes from this recipe.
Also works with
- Pre-heat an oven to 350°F. Pull the meat from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Season it with salt and pepper in advance.
- Wash, pit, and cut the stone fruit into wedges. If they are very ripe and soft, make the wedges large so they don’t collapse when cooking. If they are still firm, make the wedges a little smaller so they break down when cooked. Measure out about 2 cups worth of sliced fruit for cooking.
- Spread the cherry tomatoes across a sheet tray. Drizzle with oil to lightly coat and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or longer until they are just about to burst. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a splash of oil and sear both sides of the meat until golden brown. Use tongs and transfer it to a sheet tray. Turn the heat down to medium on the stovetop. Pop the hog in the oven to finish cooking all the way through. This might take 8-10 minutes or longer, depending on how thick the pieces are. Use a meat thermometer and pull when it reaches 140°F internal. Let it rest and come to 145°F for the final temperature.
- Pour in another drizzle of oil to the hot sauté pan and add the sliced shallots. Sauté for a few minutes until they are about to turn soft and then add the stone fruit wedges. Allow the fruit to brown and caramelize on one side, and then carefully flip over. Once all sides are brown, pour in the bourbon. Let the alcohol in the liquor burn off and reduce.
- Scrape the roasted tomatoes and juices into the pan with peaches. Gently stir to combine and then add butter. Reduce the heat to low and finish cooking until butter is melted and fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and then taste. Add an extra pat of butter if it tastes too acidic or a small squeeze of honey if it’s too bitter. Just before serving, sprinkle the basil across the top.
- Serve the hog loin with a spoonful of the stone fruit sauce on top.