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Pork in Balsamic Vinegar

Maiale con Aceto Balsamico

SERVES 4

Umbria, the central region of Italy, is noted for its porchetta, or suckling pig, grilled on an open spit with fresh rosemary until the skin crackles and is almost bronze-colored. When I was studying the food of Umbria, I was inspired by the many ways pork is prepared, including this dish, which uses pork tenderloin. It is so easy to prepare and it can be cooked up to 3 days ahead. The marinade, which includes balsamic vinegar, gives the pork a flavor that is hard to beat.

Ingredients

MARINADE

1 medium white onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon pink peppercorns

1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

2/3 cup dry white wine (preferably Frascati)

Directions

To make the marinade, in a skillet, combine the onion and cider vinegar and simmer until the onion is soft. Add the rosemary, sage, parsley, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, peppercorns, and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir well, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels and rub it all over with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

In a frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Transfer the meat to a baking dish and add 1/3 cup of the wine to the dish. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked to 155º to 160ºF. Midway through the cooking, add the remaining 1/3 cup wine to the pan.

Transfer the meat to a deep nonmetal dish just large enough to hold it. Pour the marinade over the meat, and let it marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

Bring the meat, in the marinade, to room temperature before serving. Cut it in thin slices, arrange on a serving platter, and spoon some of the marinade over the slices.

Note: This dish can also be reheated in the marinade and served warm. Either way, it is a winner.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1991.

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