Cider-Braised Normandy Pork

Posted on 20 April 2011

Even though this dish is named Normandy Pork after a northern region of France, it just screams England to me. Maybe it’s the fact that in England we love to use apples in our savory dishes as well or it could also be that this dish was made at a lot of dinner parties when I was at university in St Andrews. It was so commonly made as it is unbelievably easy. I know I say that a lot but this dish really is a quick throw-it-in a pot dish and you can let it bubble away gently, filling your whole kitchen with a wonderful aroma. The sides, which I suggest below, are also impossibly easy. Leaving some time to get yourself and your kitchen looking perfect! It is also the sort of meal which is fancy enough for a dinner party (to make larger quantities just double, triple etc the recipe) or easy enough for a quick, weeknight meal.

Normandy cuisine is known for its’ use of locally grown apples and the resulting cider. The famous cider is more dry with a kick (as most serious cider is) rather sweet and round. If you can get your hands on a bottle to cook with and to enjoy a chilled glass of alongside the meal, you won’t be disappointed.

This really is a dish for all seasons which is very handy especially at the moment when the weather here in New York can’t decide if it wants to be winter with Arctic winds or high summer with welcome, unexpected sunny days. For those chilly or rainy days, I like to serve this with Roast Potatoes and asparagus or broccoli and on those lovely warm days, I make it easy on myself by slicing a French baguette and serving it with salted creamery butter and a green salad with an easy, light vinaigrette. Bon appetit!

Notes: Currently I am making this with apple juice as I am not entirely convinced that alcohol does evaporate from stews and braises (I know, I know, I am paranoid and over-thinking it) but please do switch this for some cider (hard rather than spiced).

If you have some on hand, you can use fresh thyme leaves rather than dried. Using the 3 fresh to 1 dried substitution, add 3/4 of a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves to your pot.

Normandy Pork Stew, serves 4 as a main course
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 lb pork loin, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
½ large onion, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1 cup cream
¼ cup hard cider/apple juice (see Notes)
1 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried thyme (see Notes)

1. Place flour into a flat bowl or a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Toss pieces of pork loin in flour. Set aside.

2. Heat canola oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add floured pork and cook for 5-8 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove pork from the pan and set aside on a clean plate.

3. Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to scrape up any browned bits from the pork. Add apple and cook for 3 minutes until both the onions and the apple are softened. Add cream, chicken stock, hard cider/apple juice, bay leaf, dried thyme and browned pork and allow to simmer gently for 30-45 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


7 responses to Cider-Braised Normandy Pork

  • Amy says:

    Apples and pork = delicious!

    Thanks for another lovely recipe, the selection you have here
    on this site is awesome.

    • Vienna says:

      Hi Amy, thank you so much! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog. I agree with you apples + pork does equal delicious :) Vienna *

  • Mrs. B says:

    Whatever the weather I think I would only serve this pork dish with crunchy
    roast potatoes and red cabbage .. it has certainly made me feel more than a little hungry, I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of the day now .. yum!

    • Vienna says:

      Hi Mama, as you know I think that roast potatoes are perfect at anytime of the year but I did find that just serving this with some sliced French bread saved me from having to turn my oven on and tend to the potatoes as they were cooking. Also the French bread is perfect for dipping in the sauce and soaking up all the juices :) Thank you for reading Tiny Test Kitchen and for commenting, Vienna xxx

  • Nicky Cahill says:

    Hello Vienna,

    I love this dish – and can imagine sitting around at a St Andrews dinner munching on it, and laughing. What brilliant memories you have reminded me of – sometimes I miss those dinner parties more than I think is possible.

    I love to make a dish with pork loin, granny smith apples, and a honey/creme fraiche sauce. It can be put together in less than 40 minutes from prep to table. I shall look out the recipe for you.

    Nx
    xxxx

    • Vienna says:

      Hi Nicky,

      I definitely miss St Andrews dinner parties. They honestly seem a whole world away now. I just have to hope that our little one chooses to study somewhere similar and live vicariously! Hope you are well. Enjoying reading salt and sparkle!

      xo, Vienna

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