Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions

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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.

Ingredients: 

  • 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
  • Preheat the oven at 375°F (190°C)

Preparation:

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.

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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 aluminium 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 aluminium foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it. Serve it with the caramelized onion sauce.

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

 

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