When traveling to France there is no other region that speaks to my carnal culinary cravings quite like Normandy. Located on the country’s north shore, with beautiful beaches that overlook the English Channel, Normandy servers up my fave French food and drink: the regions famous dairy cows mean local recipes are filled with creamy sauces and its home to the iconic camembert cheese, apple and pear orchards help inspire pastry chefs to create beautiful baked goods and when fermented just right the world’s finest cider, and spirit lovers smirk for calvados, a perfectly perfumed apple brandy.
While traveling to the region on an educational D-Day trip I made a point of sampling Normandy’s top tastes, and in doing so fell in love with the notion that a pristine cut of pork could be elevated when sauced with the region’s most iconic ingredients: apples, pears, calvados, cider and cream. This dish is a decadent one, perfect for a celebratory feast with friends who aren’t in the habit of counting calories.
Pork Tenderloin, sliced into medallions
6 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 vidalia onion, finely minced
2 gala apples, skinned, cored and sliced
2 pears, skinned, cored and sliced
1/2 cup calvados
1/2 cup cognac
1 bottle cider
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with chopped chives
- Fry bacon until crispy. Chop into small pieces and leave to cool. Drain half of the fat then add minced onion and sauté until caramelized brown.
- In a separate pan sauté butter and fry pork medallions on each side on high heat being sure not to over cook the meat. At this stage you just want to sear the meat as you’ll be reheating the pork once it is added back into the sauce.
- Add apple and pear slices to the bacon fat and onion mixture, frying until soft.
- Add calvados, cognac and cider, simmering on low to reduce.
- Once the sauce has thickened stir in cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add pork to the sauce until the meat is warm and tender. Sprinkle with chopped bacon and chives and serve family style at the table.
- Best enjoyed with mashed potatoes, egg noodle pasta or risotto.