Fettine di Maiale in Saor con Aceto Balsamico

Sliced Pork Tenderloin with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Balsamic Vinegar

Sfogi in saor inspired me to apply the same method to thin slices of pork. Venetians I have sprung this on have confirmed what I had hoped, that although it is an improvisation, it tastes as though it had always been part of their city’s cooking. To the basic saor marinade I have added a little balsamic vinegar, whose sweet-and-sour taste goes so well with pork.

Unlike the sfogi, the pork is ready to eat the moment it is done, while it is still warm, and thus takes its place in the repertory of pork second courses. Like the sfogi, however, it develops deeper flavor the longer it steeps in the marinade, thus becoming a perfect dish to prepare long in advance and to serve, without reheating, at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • cup seedless raisins
  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups white onions sliced very thin
  • Salt
  • 1 cup flour, spread on a dish
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar,)

Method

  1. Soak the raisins in ¼ cup of the red-wine vinegar and ¼ cup of water for at least 30 minutes. Then drain, forcing off additional liquid by squeezing the raisins in your hand.
  2. Flatten the tenderloin slices with a meat pounder to make them as thin as possible.
  3. Put ¼ cup of the olive oil and all the sliced onion in a large sauté pan, turn on the heat to very low, and cover the pan. Cook the onion slowly, turning it occasionally, until it is very tender. All the liquid must evaporate and the onion should become a blond gold color without browning. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the cooked onion to a dish, leaving as much of the oil as possible in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil to the pan and turn on the heat to medium high.
  5. When the oil is hot, turn the pork slices in the flour, shake off excess flour, and put them in the pan. Do not put in more meat than will fit without overlapping. If the pan cannot accommodate all the slices at one time, do them in batches.
  6. Brown the meat well on both sides; if it has been pounded very thin, do not cook altogether for more than 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter where it can fit without too many overlaps and season with salt and grindings of pepper.
  8. Return the onion to the pan, turning on the heat to medium low. Add 2 tablespoons of water, the remaining ¼ cup of red-wine vinegar, the drained raisins, and the pine nuts. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Pour the contents of the pan over the meat, spreading them evenly.

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