Braised Pork with Bacon and Onions

Certain dishes of northeast Italy, such as this one, are influenced by the region's proximity to Austria and Germany. The somewhat acidic flavor of the pork is similar to that of German sauerbraten, but the garlic and rosemary add a distinctly Italian touch.

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  • Servings: 4


  • 2 slices bacon cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 3/4 pounds in all)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 teaspoon wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large deep stainless-steel frying pan or a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Season the pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Increase the heat to moderately high. Put the pork in the pan and brown on all sides, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove.

  2. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the oil to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in the broth, vinegar, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pork with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer, turning the meat once, until the pork is just done, about 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan, transfer to a carving board, and leave to rest in a warm spot for 5 minutes. Stir the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt into the pan and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and cloves. Cut the meat into thin slices and serve topped with the sauce.

Suggested Pairing

In Austria, Germany, or Alsace, the classic accompaniment for this type of dish is Gewürztraminer. Look for one of the superb examples from the Alto Adige or Germany's Pfalz region and you'll understand why.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo Published July 2013

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