Pork Normandy With Apple and Onion Sauce
This is a super easy version of the French recipe Pork Normandy, a delicious dish with a savory sauce made of apples, onions, thyme, and cream. Perfect weeknight dinner!
It’s apple season and let me tell you that apples are not just for sweet recipes. This Pork Normandy recipe with a savory Apple, Onion, and Thyme Sauce is a perfect way to use apples! The pork is seared for a gorgeous golden brown crust. Then the onions, garlic, apples, thyme cook together to create the most delicious sweet and savory flavor. Finally, broth, cider, and cream are added to transform it into an incredible creamy sauce.
This Pork Normandy recipe originates from the northern region of France known as Normandy. As I was looking for ways to use apples in an easy dinner, I came across this idea and started to test it. I fell in love with the sweet and savory flavors. I just needed to make it a touch easier to cook to make it perfect for this blog. Scroll down to see why this version is easier for busy families!
Why My Version of Pork Normandy is Easier
Pork Normandy is typically made with either pork tenderloin or pork chops. So, the first way this recipe is easier and faster is that I used thin-cut pork chops which cook super quick.
Next, I simplified the sauce. This French recipe is originally make with a velouté sauce, which is made from a roux and a light stock. Instead of a roux, I used a cornstarch slurry which thickens in no time and is much more forgiving and simple to use.
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
- Pork Chops, boneless, ½ inch thick – Pork chops is the quickest and easiest cut to go with for this recipe. I used ½ thick, but you can use ¾ inch or 1 inch. Bone in pork chops can also be used. See the notes for cooking instructions for various thicknesses and bone in. You can also use pork tenderloin cut into ½ inch thick slices.
- Salt – I used kosher salt, but any salt will work.
- Ground Black Pepper – You can use fine or coarse ground black pepper. I like fresh ground, but pre-ground is fine too.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can substitute with any neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, or even coconut oil.
- Salted Butter – I really like using salted butter and then adding more salt if needed. However, you can also use unsalted butter. You can substitute with another fat, but you do really need a fat to cook the onions and garlic. Substitutes for butter can be Ghee (clarified butter), olive oil, coconut oil, or other butter or oil product.
- Yellow onion – I used yellow onion, but you can use white onion, red onion, shallots, or even scallions.
- Fresh Garlic cloves, minced – Fresh is best when it comes to garlic, but you can buy pre-minced garlic to save time or mince it in bulk and freeze it for use when you need it! If you do not have fresh garlic, you can substitute dried garlic flakes or garlic powder.
- Fresh Lemon – For the fresh lemon juice, you can substitute in lime or white wine vinegar if you don’t have lemon.
- Apples – I used Pink Lady apples, but you can use any of your favorite variety.
- Dried thyme – You can use fresh thyme, dried or fresh rosemary, tarragon, sage, oregano, or marjoram.
- Chicken stock or chicken broth – You can substitute with vegetable stock or broth or even beef stock or broth. You can also use water mixed with a chicken bouillon cube or chicken base.
- Apple Cider – The cider brings sweetness and a little acidity. If you don’t have it, you can use a really good quality apple juice. You could substitute with a 2 teaspoons of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Dijon Mustard – If you don’t have dijon, any grain mustard will work. You can use yellow mustard in a pinch. Ground mustard powder will work too for flavor, but you will be missing the tang.
- 1% milk – The milk replaces the heavy cream or heavy whipping cream in traditional cream sauces. You can also use skim milk, 2% milk, or full fat whole milk.
- Cornstarch – This is the thickener in the sauce and is great because it can be mixed into cold liquid to dissolve and create a slurry. That means that you don’t need to mix flour with butter to make a roux. It’s not only a low-fat thickener, it saves lots of time and fuss!
- Heavy Cream – half and half or whole milk will work as well. You can leave this out if you prefer.
- Fresh Parsley – You can leave this out if you don’t have any on hand. But fresh parsley really does add a nice freshness and brightness.
Recipe Equipment Needed
For the apples, you will need a peeler. I like this Y-Peeler.
For the pork, onions, apples, and sauce, you need a large skillet or frying pan. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.
Mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.
Time Saving Prep-Ahead Steps for Pork Normandy
We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)
Dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Chop the parsley. Cut the lemon in half (half for apples, half for the sauce).
Peel and dice the apples. Squeeze half of the lemon over the apples (make no seeds get in!) and toss to coat.
NOTE: The lemon will help prevent oxidation, but do not do this step more than 30 minutes before cooking as the apple may start to turn brown. A little brown is okay since they will be cooked.
Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper.
Cooking Steps for Pork Normandy with Apples
Preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the Olive Oil and pork chops to sear. Leave cooking without moving for 2-3 minutes (See FAQs below for thicker cut or bone-in cooking times). When they easily lift, flip the chops over to sear the other side for another 2 minutes.
Note: if you see that white stuff that sometimes forms around pork or chicken when you cook it, don’t worry! Its protein-filled juices that can sometimes seep out of the meat and then coagulate when it heats. It’s not at all harmful, but you can simply scrape it away and discard. It doesn’t look or taste great.
Transfer the pork to a plate.
Using the same pan, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, onions and the minced garlic. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are starting to soften and getting translucent.
While the onions are cooking, make the cornstarch slurry by adding the cornstarch to the cold milk in a small mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve and set aside.
Add the apples, and the thyme to the softened onions and garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the broth, dijon, 1 teaspoon lemon juice from half the lemon and cider to the pan and scrape up all of the browned bits (fond) from the bottom.
Now stir in the cornstarch slurry and the heavy cream. The sauce will start to thicken quite quickly. Add the pork chops and any juices on the plate to the sauce and scoop the sauce on top of the pork. Cook so everything melds together just for 2-3 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, or even another squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
What to Serve with Pork Normandy
The sauce should definitely be the star in the meal with Pork Normandy. The apples also provide that healthy fruit/veggie component, so you don’t need a vegetable side.
That said, to round out the meal, here are some recommendations! You can add in my Easy Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash which acts as the perfect accompaniment for the sauce and the veggie side! If you are more of a traditionalist, you can of course add in mashed potatoes. Or how about Baby Potatoes with Garlic Butter and Sage,
Pork Normandy Recipe FAQS
Can I make this Pork Normandy ahead?Yes, you can cook this Pork Normandy recipe in advance and reheat it. It will last 4-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Careful not to overcook the pork when reheating, as it can get very tough. If you plan to make this ahead and reheating it before serving, I suggest a 1 inch pork chop vs. ½ inch. This will be more forgiving as you reheat it. To reheat, place it in a covered oven safe dish in 350 F degrees for 15-20 minutes, just until the pork is warmed through. You can also reheat on the stove over medium-low heat, covered for 10-15 minutes. You may need to add ½ cup of broth or water to the pan to help preventing too much of the sauce from cooking off and burning while reheating.
Can I freeze this Pork Normandy?Yes, you can freeze this cooked pork normandy recipe. Seal it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 4 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat it as per the instructions above.
Can I use a different meat other than pork? You can absolutely make this Pork Normandy sauce with other meat options! Chicken breast, chicken thighs, beef flank steak, beef tenderloin, or beef sirloin steaks are all great options!
Cooking Pork FAQS
What is the safe temperature for cooked pork?According to the USDA, “Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming.”
How long should I cook Pork Chops on the stove?For ½ inch thick boneless pork chops, cook 2-3 minutes per side. Add another minute for every additional ¼ inch of thickness. If the pork chops are bone-in, the cook time will be 3-4 minutes per side for ½ inch thick. Add a minute per each additional ¼ inch of thickness.
Pork Normandy With Apple and Onion Sauce
- 4 Pork Chops, boneless, 1/2 inch thick (or pork tenderloin cut into 1/2 inch thick slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Butter, salted (unsalted is fine too)
- 1 cup Onion, diced or 1 small onion (or Shallot, finely chopped)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Lemon, juiced (juice divided for apples and sauce)
- 2 Apples, medium (I used Pink Lady apples)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme
- 1 cup Chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1/4 cup Milk, 1% (any fat content will work)
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (or half and half)
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
- Dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Chop the parsley. Cut the lemon in half (half for apples, half for the sauce).
- Peel and dice the apples. Squeeze half of the zested lemon over and toss to coat the apples. NOTE: The lemon will help prevent oxidation, but do not do this step more than 30 minutes before cooking as the apple may start to turn brown. A little brown is okay since they will be cooked.
- Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the Olive Oil to the skillet to coat and then add the pork chops to sear. Leave cooking without moving for 2-3 minutes (if your chops are thicker than ½ inch, add another minute per ¼ inch). When they easily lift, flip the chops over to sear the other side for another 2 minutes (adding another 1 minute per additional ¼ inch of thickness). Transfer the pork to a plate.
- Using the same pan, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, onions and the minced garlic. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are starting to soften and getting translucent.
- While the onions are cooking, make the cornstarch slurry by adding the cornstarch to the cold milk in a small mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve and set aside.
- Add the apples, and the thyme to the softened onions and garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the broth, dijon, 1 teaspoon lemon juice from half the lemon and cider to the pan and scrape up all of the browned bits (fond) from the bottom.
- Now stir in the cornstarch slurry and the heavy cream. The sauce will start to thicken quite quickly. Add the pork chops and any juices on the plate to the sauce and scoop the sauce on top of the pork. Cook so everything melds together just for 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, or even another squeeze of lemon juice. Serve and garnish with the parsley.