Roast Pork Normandy
- 2 qt. water
- 1/2 Tbs. ground cloves
- 1/2 Tbs. ground ginger
- 2 Tbs. cracked black peppercorns
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/2 lb. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 C. honey
- 1 1/2 C. maple syrup
- Pork, Apples and Sauce:
- 2 lb. pork loin roast, with ribs attached
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbs. Calvados
- 1 C. organic chicken or beef broth
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Golden or Red Delicious apples, preferably organic, each peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 lb. mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
At least five hours before you plan to cook the pork, or the night before, brine it. Put the water, cloves, ginger, black peppercorns, bay leaves and salt in a nonreactive pot large enough to hold the brine and pork together. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave the brine to cool to room temperature.
Rinse the pork under cold tap water. Lower it into the brine and place a clean kitchen weight on top to keep it submerged. Cover the pot and refrigerate overnight.
About 1 1/2 hours before serving time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
While the oven preheats, season the roast with salt and pepper. Place it on top of a roasting rack in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. Roast until cooked through but still slightly pink inside, about 40 minutes; the pork should register 150 degrees when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the center of the roast not touching bone. Transfer the roast to a heated carving board or serving platter and cover with a double thickness of aluminum foil to keep it warm.
Remove the rack from the pan and pour off excess fat.
Place the pan over a burner on the stove, set to medium heat. Add the Calvados and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Then stir in the broth and continue deglazing. Carefully pour the liquid into a saucepan, stir in the cream, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan, cover, and keep warm.
In a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the apple wedges and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in another large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they just begin to brown, about 4 minutes.
Stir the mushrooms into the strained sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, use a sharp carving knife to cut the roast across the grain into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Spoon the sauce and mushrooms onto heated serving plates. Arrange the meat slices, overlapping, on top of the sauce. Garnish with apples, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
(Chef Wolfgang Puck's TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy," is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)
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