Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
1 teaspoon crushed anise seed 4 boneless pork loin steaks Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Tablespoon olive oil 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 2 large shallots, minced 1 tart apple, cut into 1/4" thick slices 1/2 cup orange juice 8 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped 1 Tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Season pork on all sides with anise seed, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add pork and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Reduce heat to medium and cook until pork is firm and barely pink in center, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer meat to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. Add shallots and cook over medium heat until softened. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add apple slices and cook, turning occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons orange juice and cook until apples are just tender. Add prunes and remaining orange juice. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors. Season sauce with red-wine vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Just before serving, whisk in remaining tablespoon of butter. Return pork and any accumulated juices to pan and spoon sauce over top to thoroughly coat. Serve.