Recipe of the Week: Pork Medallions with Onion Marmalade

June 14, 2011

This week’s recipe is courtesy of world renowned chef Massimo Bottura, the most accomplished avant-garde chef of his generation! He is the recipient of the 2011 Gran Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine by the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris and his Modena restaurant, Osteria Francescana, took 4th place on the 2011 list of the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants that is organized and compiled by Restaurant Magazine.

Much of the food at Osteria Francescana takes its inspiration from the art world, but this is only half the story. There is no food without poetry, deep thinking, and music for Massimo Bottura. Nourishment is according to him not mathematical, but emotional.

Massimo Bottura defines himself as “a man from Emilia Romagna with as strong muscles as Parmigiano Reggiano, with Aceto Balsamico running through his veins, and a ‘bubbly’ mind made from Lambrusco”.

His menus pay homage to the products he can see growing in his beloved Emilia Romagna. This is the place where Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico, Prosciutto di Parma, Lambrusco and many other world famous Italian products come from.

Osteria Francescana has become one of the most desirable tables among gourmets. Bottura’s work is unique, and unites the flavours of his rich territory with his philosophical and artistic ideas.

Try this delicious recipe at home and bring a bit of Modena and Osteria Francescana into your home!


Cooking the onions in butter and sugar gives an uncommonly beautiful sheen to this rich, tangy marmalade.

Ingredients for 8 persons:   

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped 

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup dry red wine

  • 3/4 cup raspberry vinegar

  • Salt

  • Eight 4-ounce pork loin medallions

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary

  • 8 very thin slices of pancetta (2 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil

  • 8 garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or canned low-sodium broth


      Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sugar, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the wine and the raspberry vinegar and boil until the liquid is syrupy, about 8 minutes. Season with salt.

      Meanwhile, season the pork medallions with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the rosemary. Top each medallion with a slice of pancetta and, using kitchen string, tie up like a package. Heat the olive oil with the garlic in a large skillet. Add the pork medallions, pancetta side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, turn the medallions and cook until just cooked through and browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the medallions to a warmed platter and cover loosely with foil. Discard the garlic.

      Add the remaining 1/3 cup of red wine and the balsamic vinegar to the skillet and boil over moderate heat, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in any accumulated juices from the pork and season with salt and pepper.

      Remove the string, set the pork medallions on plates and spoon the onion marmalade alongside. Pour the sauce over the medallions and serve.

      MAKE AHEAD The onion marmalade can be refrigerated for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

      Look for a bright, fruity-spicy Italian red that won't overwhelm the mild pork, such as a medium-bodied Dolcetto d'Alba with soft tannins.


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