Pork with Apples and Cider Cream

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.


    •    ⅓ cup olive oil
    •    4 tbsp. unsalted butter
    •    1½ lb. pork loin, cut into ¼″-thick slices
    •    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    •    ½ 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
    •    ½ red Holland chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
    •    1½ cups regular or hard apple cider
    •    1 cup chicken stock
    •    ½ cup heavy cream
    •    ¼ cup Dijon mustard
    •    1 tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
    •    1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
    •    Cooked white rice, for serving

1. 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.

Note: We prefer our pork with the slightest blush of pink when cooked.)

2. 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.