normandy roasted pork loin with apples, cider and calvados

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In addition to Paris, on our upcoming trip we will be spending 4 days in Normandy with Matt’s parents at their centuries-old farmhouse.  They live close to Coutances, a region of Normandy that is known for producing amazing hard cider and Calvados.  We are looking forward to exploring a “Route du Cidre” which will take us through some typical and pretty countryside and villages and to a cider farm – I cannot wait!

This recipe is my homage to this region, featuring both cider and Calvados, as well as roasted apples.  I first seared a pork loin in butter over high heat, and then roasted the pork in the oven with apples, onions and thyme, basting everything periodically with cider and pan juices.  Through the roasting process, the apples sweeten and soften until they are on the verge of becoming a chunky, delicious applesauce.  To create the sauce to serve over the pork, I sauteed shallots with thyme and pan juices, then added Calvados and cream.  Adding Calvados to a sauce was new for me, but I absolutely loved the slight apple and alcohol flavor it imparted.  The smells that permeated our home when the pork and apples roasted away were amazing, but the dish tasted even better than it smelled, and whetted our appetite for the delicious food we will soon consume in Normandy.

Recipe continued after the jump>>>

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  • 3 lb. pork loin roast, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced into half moons
  • 4 stalks thyme {optional}
  • 3 baking apples, cored and sliced into 6 wedges
  • 3/4 cup hard cider
  • 1 teaspoon of raw sugar or brown sugar {optional}
  • 1/4 cup good-quality Calvados
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325°. Tie pork loin every 2″ with kitchen twine so that it holds a “round” shape. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Rub the flour mixture all over the pork loin, coating evenly and well.

Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet and sear meat over high heat, turning often, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large baking pan. Scatter onions around the roast. Cut up remaining butter and distribute evenly atop onions.  Add thyme stalks {if using} to pan.  Cover with foil and place in oven.

Cook for 20 minutes, then add apples and 1/2 cup hard cider to pan. Baste everything with the pan juices. Sprinkle apples with sugar, if desired.  Re-cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Raise oven temperature to 400°, remove foil, baste, and cook for another 15 minutes.

Place roast on a cutting board, remove string, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, transfer onions and apples to a platter.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme and sauté 2 minutes.  Add Calvados and roasting pan juices and boil until reduced to glaze, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in cream and remaining cider and boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice pork into 1/4 inch slices and plate.  Spoon apples and onions onto plate next to pork, and top with sauce.

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16 Responses to normandy roasted pork loin with apples, cider and calvados

  1. Darya says:

    Fantastic recipe, and delightful combination. Your mentioning “Coutances” has brought back so many childhood memories, as I used to spend many summers in a children’s camp nearby. I am sure you will have a wonderful time! And that Route du cidre sounds fantastic!

  2. Pork and apples are classic, I love the cream sauce on the pork. Beautiful dish!

  3. ladyredspecs says:

    What an elegant way to prepare and serve what could on another day be just roast pork and apple sauce! Delicious!

  4. Beautiful pictures! I love pork with apples and that cream sauce looks amazing.

  5. Lovely photos, you’re almost making me want to eat pork (which i never eat). Beautiful!

  6. Michelle says:

    You nailed it! Have a wonderful time in Normandy, one of my favorite places in the world.

  7. Helena says:

    It’s such an elegant post ! I’m impressed to see what a great ambassador you are for French food culture ! And a bit ashamed too, as I never cooked such a roast pork though being French myself 😀 … But your recipe made me decide to catch up, since I just have a small opened bottle of Calvados in my fridge. Thanks and “bon voyage” !

  8. laurasmess says:

    Such a beautiful post! Your photography, as per usual, is amazing… as is the food styling 🙂 I love classic French flavours. Not the healthiest of cuisines, but it’s worth it for the satisfying richness and delicious creamy sauces! Your dish looks like a perfect representation of French cuisine. Thanks so much for sharing xx

  9. Val. says:

    I am in South Australia and remembering many happy years with a holiday home in the Dordogne
    just cooking pork Normandie for my neighbours, even managed to buy Calvados locally.

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