Pork a la Normand

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_00_3924This recipe was originally a Cheshire Pork Pie from Hannah Glasse’s 1788 cookbook “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.” We have taken that dish and adapted it for the modern kitchen. You won’t be able to get enough of this deliciousness!

  • 1 ½ lbs. pork shoulder
  • ½ c. flour
  • 2 T. butter + more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tart apples, cored, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 t. fresh ground nutmeg
  • About 1 t. salt
  • ½ T. black pepper
  • 12 oz. (1 bottle) hard cider

First trim all the fat off your pork and cut it into cubes, then toss it in flour to coat.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_02_1601In a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, brown your pork in about 1 tablespoon of butter until some brown is achieved, but don’t cook the pork all the way through. Remove pork into a bowl and set aside.

Next, add the remaining butter to the pan along with your chopped onion and apples. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sauté until the onion is nearly translucent.

Next, pour in your cider, scraping any brown bits from the pan, and allow it to come to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then return your pork and any resting juices to the bowl. Cover and let simmer until the gravy has thickened, approximately 30 minutes.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_03_5820The longer you allow this dish to cook, the more tender your pork will become. This is a dish that you can use any cut of pork and it will become tender by the end.

Transcription of Video:

We’re again here at Conner Prairie, a premier Living History site, and we’ve got another great recipe for you. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

[Jon] Last week we had Miss Barker and she showed us how to make Rye and Indian Bread. Today, Mrs. Barker is going to show us how to make Pork a la Normand

[Mrs. Barker] That’s what it’s called! You got it right.

[Jon] Okay.

[Mrs. Barker] Now that’s a fancy name for it.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] It just really is Pork and Apples in Cider.

[Jon] Okay

[Mrs. Barker] But apparently folks in Normandy, that’s what they eat.

[Jon] Right?

[Mrs. Barker] So a traveler come through, he give me this receipt, that’s what he called it,

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] my husband will call it pork and cider. Well, we’ve got us some good hog that’s been about a pound and a half, been cubed up and fat trimmed from it. Some salt and some pepper, and about a half a teacup of flour. A couple of teaspoons of nutmeg, about half a nut, grated.

[Jon] Mmm, yeah

[Mrs. Barker] A medium onion chopped and a nice tart green apple. A little bit ago I put some pieces of fat that I trimmed off the pork into the spider and rendered them off so we’re going to go ahead and take this good hog and I’m going to put it in a dish here, and I’m going to just sprinkle that flour over the top of it and it’ll be more than’ll cover it and that’s alright too, and use your eye and use your sense. You’ve got to cook with your nose and your mouth and your eyes, your ears, all parts of you. Put in what your family likes flavor wise, if they like a bit more salt or pepper, and stir that around so all that flour gets on every piece of that pork, each side of it. Now I’ve got to use my eyes and I need to put a bit more flour there. It should be, not dry, but it shouldn’t be wet. It should be like a paste there. You want to have a bit of dry flour there and then we’ll go ahead and we’ll put this right in the spider.

So once you’ve got a bit of color on that pork, you want to take it out of your pan and go ahead and put it right back in that bowl because all of that extra flour, that’s going to go right back in again and it’ll help you with your gravy.

[Jon] Sure.

[Mrs. Barker] So, the next thing you’re going to do, now if you don’t have enough fat in your fire, go ahead and put a little butter in your spider. There, we’ll just put a bit in, and get a nice sizzle to it, and then if you wouldn’t mind taking them apples and I’ll take the onions. So once your onions and your apples are in and you stirred it around a bit, they start to cook a while, you go ahead and sprinkle that nutmeg right on top of them, mix it around and let them cook just a bit more, just till them onions just come a little bit clear.

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] And then once that’s done comes my husbands favorite part.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] And that’s the cider. Now if you’ve got your apple trees, why then you’ve got your apples, apple sauce, dried apples, apple pie, dried apple pie, but you certainly put up cider. So once that apple and onion and nutmeg have cooked down a little bit and that cider’s cooked off a bit, you’re going to go ahead and add your pork right back in and all those drippings from that bowl that you gathered up, and stir that around, put your lid back on, then cover it with coals and then just back away and go holler at your children for half hour or more if you want.

[Jon] So it’s ready?

[Mrs. Barker] Now you’re making a face like that and say something like that sir and I understand. Now some folk might look at this dish and say well, it ain’t pretty, but it ain’t always got to be pretty, what matters is the taste.

[Jon] I’m sure it’s going to taste wonderful too.

[Mrs. Barker] I’m certain of it, sir. I’m certain of it. In fact, I’m so certain of it I’m going to go ahead and just give you plenty to taste.

[Jon] Okay. Mmm. Wow, the apple flavor Mmm it’s wonderful, and that pork is delicious.

[Mrs. Barker] Mmhmm. And the more you let that cook, that pork will come more tender and more tender. The nice thing about making any kind of stew is that you ain’t got to have an expensive, high piece of meat. You use your low meat, you use your shoulder, you use something that ain’t gonna have a lot of promise to it until it sits and stews for a bit and all that meat just melts away.

[Jon] Right and even if you have extra the next morning or the next day

[Mrs. Barker] Yes sir, yes sir, although I’ve got a son that’s near twice your size and I don’t generally have extra.

[Jon] I’ll bet you don’t.

[Mrs. Barker] No sir.

[Jon] Well I really want to thank Mrs. Barker for inviting me in to her kitchen, showing me how to make the best darn pork and cider I ever ate and if your ever in the Midwest and you have a chance to come here to Conner Prairie, this is a premier Living History site, right here in the Midwest. Definitely come and check this site out. It is wonderful. Again, I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment here, as we try these different things out of history, as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th and early 19th century.

I want to give a special thanks to all the folks at Conner Prairie. Make sure to check out their website. If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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3 Responses to Pork a la Normand

  1. briansmaller says:

    Hi. I made this last week. It was delicious. Pretty much used the recipe as given. Wwe served it with fried cabbage and green beans.

  2. aruvqan says:

    Recipes like this really point out why the whole monoculture garbage of modern food production sucks – this would be fantastic with the older heirloom ‘fatty’ pigs – the drive towards lean muscle mass just *kills* the tenderizing effect of a well marbled hunk of critter. I am particularly fond of a Norman French chicken dish [which includes saffron along with the apples and calvados/apple brandy so the veloute base the meat and apple chunks are suspended in absolutely glows with a soft amber tint. I would consider adding a fillip of saffron as it was a very popular medieval/renaissance/restoration French seasoning.

  3. TheWhiteRobedOne says:

    Just fixed this today. Had smashed taters with it. I followed the recipe expect added extra pepper. It was wonderful. We used a well marbled 4lb shoulder, and doubled the rest of the recipe. Definitely would recommend to anyone. Doubled the recipe yields 5 oversized servings. Would also suggest rice with this dish. Definitely a keeper.

    As with most things my family eats, we usually coat the dogs kibbles with some of the sauce and add some bits, and I haven’t seen the dog’s bowl as clean ever. So even the dog loved it.

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