18 January 2006

Menu #1: Rôti de porc à la normande

[Posted by Colin.]

While Amy is taking a couple days off from blogging, I'll jump in with some posts about our culinary adventures. One of my goals this year is to learn traditional recipes that represent five regions of France. Last fall, I learned some simple recipes from Savoie (part of the French Alps), Provence (southeastern France, including the Riviera), the Pays Basque (southwestern France, up in the Pyrenees Mountains), and Normandie (part of northwestern France that is on the English Channel). Just for fun, I thought I'd share of few of these, so the loyal readership can get a better taste of our life over here.

First up, Rôti de porc à la normande (Norman pork roast). The regional cuisine of Normandie is known for a few things—camembert, crêpes, pork, apples, and cider. So, to make a nice menu out of this, you might do something like this...

Entrée (French for appetizer): Salade cauchoise
  • 300 g/11 oz new potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 85 g/3 oz ham, cut into strips
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped, or 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz double cream
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ bunch of spring onions, slice
  • 3 black olives, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and season to taste.
  2. Boil the potatoes (with or without their skins) until just tender, then drain well. While the potatoes are still warm, mix them with the dressing and leave to cool.
  3. Cut the potatoes into chunks and add the garlic, ham and fennel or celery.
  4. Add the cream and some salt and pepper and mix well. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and mix very lightly, otherwise the cream will separate. Mix the spring onions with the olives and scatter over the salad.
Plat: Rôti de porc à la normande
  • 1kg 200 (2.5 lbs) pork roast
  • 50 grams (1.75 oz) of butter
  • 300 grams (2/3 pound) of white mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 apple (chopped)
  • 30 grams (1 oz.) of thick sour cream
  • 25 cl (10 oz.) apple juice
  • 12 cl (5 oz.) of dry white wine
  • half of a celery stalk (chopped)
  • thyme (1/2 tablespoon of fresh leaves or 1/2 teaspoon of dried)
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Glaze the roast with butter in a stewpot.
  2. Add a finely chopped onion.
  3. After the onion has browned a little, add the white wine, cover, and cook over medium heat for 75 minutes.
  4. Finely chop the mushrooms and sauté them in butter in a frying pan for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the roast and set it aside. In the stewpot, add the cream, the apple juice, the chopped apple, the thyme, the chopped celery, and the mushrooms.
  6. Stir and heat to boiling.
  7. Put the roast back in the stewpot and cook another 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fromage (the ubiquitous cheese course):
Camembert is probably the best choice here, but Neufchâtel would be good, too.

  • A tarte normande is the obvious choice—an apple pie (open on top, like all the French tarts) covered in powdered sugar and apricot jam. (About.com has a pretty good looking recipe.)
  • Another good alternative would be a crêpe. My personal favorite here would be one flambéed with Calvados (an apple liqueur that is the eau de vie of Normandie) and topped with vanilla ice cream. One made with apples or with cinnamon would also be nice finish to the meal.
  • Barring all this...any apple dessert ought to be good.
Cider (brut, doux, or non-alcoholic, as you prefer) is a perfect accompaniment to any of these courses.

There's only one choice for digestif (the after-dinner drink)—Calvados.


At 23/1/06 07:52, Anonymous frenchmama said...

I think I'm going to try this for next Sunday's dinner, thanks! Please keep posting your ideas. I'm curious to see what you make from my area (Isere/Dauphine). Also, where is grapeseed oil here(by the oils?) and is it called grain de raisin?

At 23/1/06 20:31, Blogger croust said...

Grapeseed oil is "huile de pepins de raisin". For other oil
translations, see:

At 23/1/06 22:28, Anonymous frenchmama said...

Thank you :) I will check the aisle with the oils/dressings. I hate to make the recipe without every last ingredient!


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