Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions

Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions 02

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 60 minutes

Arista di Maiale con Cipolle alla Caramella, a hearty pork roast from the Toscana. Have you ever eaten spit-roasted suckling pig (Maialino allo Spiedo) in one of those roadside osterias in the Toscana? This dish is very similar: tender, juicy pork meat with a delicious crust and bursting with flavor. Creamy Polenta and vegetables sautéed in olive oil are a great addition to this dish.


  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lbs (1 kg 800 g) pork loin, excess fat removed
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, or enough to dress the pork loin
  • 4 medium onions (about 3 cups – 675 g) , thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup (120 -180 ml) water

Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions 01


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Zest lemon and set aside. In a kitchen chopper, mix rosemary, sage, parsley leaves and garlic cloves. Chop them. Add lemon zest and 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside until ready to use.

Place pork loin roast on a cutting board. With a sharp pointed knife, make about 4 deep lengthwise cuts into the meat, leaving about 1 inch (2,5 cm ) of the edge on all sides. Salt and pepper the pork loin inside and outside. Fill the crevices with the herb paste. Fold the pork loin roast into a cylinder again. Arrange the prosciutto slices all over the roast pork and tie it up securely with kitchen twine.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook pork roast until it is nicely brown on all sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove pork roast from saucepan. Place it on a plate and cover it with aluminum foil.

Scrape all nice brown bits from the saucepan with a wooden spoon. Add onion slices. Cook it for about 2-3 minutes or until onion slices are well coated with the brown bits. Sprinkle onions with brown sugar. Sauté over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes longer or until onions start getting nicely brown. Add about 1/2 cup (120 ml) water. Mix well. Place the roast pork with accumulated juices over the onions.

Roast pork for about 35-40 minutes, basting it occasionally with the onion sauce.

Transfer pork to a cutting board, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it. Serve it with the caramelized onion sauce.

If the caramelized sauce seems thin, reduce it on the stovetop to the consistency of your liking.

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