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Pork in Balsamic Vinegar

Maiale con Aceto Balsamico


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.



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)


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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