Inspired by Norman cuisine, we married a hearty pork loin with apples and the classic beverages of the Calvados region of Normandy, France: hard cider and apple brandy.
- 4 1⁄2 lb. pork loin roast, trimmed
- 1 tbsp. flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 stalks rosemary (optional)
- 5 baking apples, cored and quartered
- 1⁄2 cup hard cider
- 1⁄4 cup good-quality calvados
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 chopped rosemary. 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 with pan juices to a large baking pan. Scatter onions and garlic around the roast. Cut up remaining butter and distribute evenly atop onions. Add rosemary stalks (if used) to pan. Cover with foil and place in oven.
Cook for 45 minutes, then add apples and hard cider to pan. Baste everything with the pan juices. Re-cover and cook for 30 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. On top of the stove, reduce pan juices by half. Warm calvados, add to the pan juices, and flame. (Keep a pan lid nearby, in case it flares up.) Simmer sauce while you slice the pork loin. Arrange meat over apples and onions and serve with the sauce.