The recipe for tender slices of pork loin in a sumptuous cream sauce comes from Gerda Gherghiceanu, a cook in the Saxon village of Viscri. Fragrant with marjoram, a key herb in Saxon cooking, the dish gets tartness from apple cider and apple wedges and a pleasant twinge of heat from red Holland chiles. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano's article Eternal Terrain.
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄2 lb. pork loin, cut into 1/4″-thick slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 red Holland chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1 1⁄2 cups regular or hard apple cider
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Cooked white rice, for serving
Heat 2 tbsp. each oil and butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork on both sides with salt and pepper, and dredge half the pieces in flour; add to skillet, and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate, and set aside; repeat with 2 tbsp. oil, remaining butter, and remaining pork and flour; transfer all pork to plate.
Return skillet to heat, and add remaining oil; add apples, garlic, onion, and chile, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add cider, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream, and mustard, and bring to a boil; return pork to skillet, and add marjoram. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until pork is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley; serve with rice.