Filet de Porc Normande


In this dish there appears what one French gastronome has called 'the holy trinity' of apples, Calvados and cream - the classic ingredients of any dish named 'Normande'. Rice pilaf would make an excellent accompaniment to this dish.


Serves 4

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
boned fore loin of pork weighing about 750g
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons Calvados
1 level tablespoon flour
375ml veal or chicken stock
salt and pepper
100ml double cream

For the garnish:
2 tablespoons butter
2 firm dessert apples, unpeeled and sliced in 1cm slices
30g sugar
bunch of watercress

1. Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan or shallow flameproof casserole and brown the loin of pork on all sides.

2. Remove it, add the onions and cook until soft but not brown. Add the apples and continue cooking over fairly high heat until the apples and onions are golden brown.

3. Replace the loin, pour over the Calvado and flambé.

4. Stir the flour into the juices, add the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, in a moderate oven, 180ºC (35OºF) gas 4, for 1½-2 hours, or until the meat is tender. The pork can he prepared up to 48 hours ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

For the garnish: heat the butter in a frying pan. Dip one side of each apple slice in the sugar. Cook the apple slices, sugared side down, in the hot butter over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the sugar caramelises. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on the apples, turn over and cook for 4-5 minutes longer.

To finish: if necessary, reheat the pork on top of the stove. Lift out the loin, carve it in 6mm diagonal slices, arrange them on a serving dish and keep warm. Strain the sauce, pressing the apples and onions through the strainer, bring to the boil and reduce if necessary until thick enough to coat a spoon. Add the cream, bring just back to the boil and taste for seasoning. Spoon the sauce over the pork and garnish the dish with the caramelised apple slices and the watercress before serving with a rice pilaf or French bread.

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