Pork steak with figs and soft polenta


Pork steak with figs and soft polenta

Australian chef Lyndey Milan shares a delicious foolproof recipe with juicy pork, creamy polenta and luscious figs.

Lyndey Milan
October 2017

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes, plus 2 minutes resting


  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 4 x 180g pork steaks, cut 2cm thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 figs, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 100ml verjuice (or juice of one lemon as a substitute) 
  • 80g pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs pine nuts
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero (also known as Italian kale), trimmed
  • 125ml chicken stock or water


  • 375ml chicken stock
  • 375ml water
  • 250g instant polenta
  • 250ml milk
  • 20g butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. For the polenta, combine the stock and water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk and pour in the milk. Cook over low heat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta is tender. Stir in the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and whisk occasionally while preparing the pork.
  2. For the pork, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the sage leaves until crisp, drain on paper towel and set aside until serving. Season the pork steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in the frying pan and cook on one side only for 6 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes. Remove to a plate without flipping, cover loosely with foil and rest for 2 minutes.
    NOTE: It’s important not to flip the steak when removing it from the pan to rest as the juices will have risen to the top and the steak will dry out if flipped. If you prefer a ‘hint of pink’, then reduce cooking times accordingly.
  3. Add the figs to the pan, increase the heat to high, add the mustard and verjuice and bring to the boil. Add any juices from the resting pork plate.
  4. While the pork rests, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan, add the pancetta (if using), garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until the pancetta is golden and the nuts are lightly browned. Add the cavolo nero and stock or water and cook, stirring, until wilted.

This is an edited extract from Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia published by Hardie Grant Books ($39.95, available in stores nationally).


This communication contains information which is copyright to The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited (HCF). It should not be copied, disclosed or distributed without the authority of HCF. Except as required by law, HCF does not represent, warrant and/or guarantee that this communication is free from errors, virus, interception or interference. All reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy of material contained on this website. It’s not intended that this website be comprehensive or render advice. HCF members should rely on authoritative advice they seek from qualified practitioners in the health and medical fields as the information provided on this website is general information only and may not be suitable to individual circumstances or health needs. Please check with your health professional before making any dietary, medical or other health decisions as a result of reading this website.