Roast pork fillet with figs and red onions and cider gravy - pic supplied

Serves 4–6. Preparation time 10 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes (mostly unattended)


2 sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes 

1 x 900g pork fillet

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp dried fennel

1 tsp dried sage

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 red onions, cut into sixths

4 firm figs, halved (or use 2 firm pears, cut into sixths lengthways; or use stone fruit of your choice)

2–3 large cloves garlic, skin on but ‘smashed’


1 Tbsp plain flour (or use gluten free if necessary)

½ cup cider

½ cup good quality chicken or vegetable stock

¼ cup fresh cream or natural yoghurt (optional)

Pretty micro herbs, for garnishing if you like


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Parboil the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10–15 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside.

Season the pork fillet with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then coat with the mustards, fennel and sage. 

Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. 

When the oil is hot, sear the pork fillet for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden. 

Remove the pan from the heat, add the remaining ingredients, drizzle with a little extra oil and transfer to the oven (if you don’t have an ovenproof pan, just sear the fillet on the stovetop and then transfer to an ovenproof baking dish and add the remaining ingredients).

After 25 minutes, remove the pork and leave to rest for 10–15 minutes. 

Add a knob of butter to the vegetables along with a drizzle of maple syrup or rice malt syrup and return them to the oven while the meat rests so that they will be nice and caramelised. 

Remove the veg with a slotted spoon and make a quick gravy as follows: add the flour to the pan and place over medium-high heat. 

Add the cider and chicken stock and leave to simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the gravy is glossy and thick. 

To make the gravy extra creamy, add the cream or yoghurt. Season to taste and them remove from the heat and set aside.

Slice the pork fillet and serve immediately on warmed plates with the vegetables and gravy.