Okay, the truth of the matter is this- I was making the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich withCaramelized Onions & Apple Butter for this week’s column. Because Anne Moore and I were doing a television show about apples on Friday at WSPA in Greenville, SC, we wanted to add this to our weekly column so that you could come to GardenSMART and find it.
So, I cooked the pork tenderloin, recipe below, caramelized the onions with balsamic vinegar, mixed the apple butter and country mustard and toasted the buns. My husband poured two glasses of Chardonnay, and I set out two plates. Well, that was it. We each took a bite of the sandwich and we forgot what we were doing. I was almost finished with the second sandwich (yep, I ought to be ashamed) when I said, oh, my gosh, we have not taken any photos. Uh-oh, now we had no food except a small piece of pork tenderloin and a few onions. So, that’s the story.
When you make this sandwich you will know why this sandwich was so popular in my cooking classes. I think you’ll like it too. And I hope that you’ll try the sandwich even though you can’t see what it looks like. The good thing is that you can take it on a fall outing or tail-gating. This is how. After you make the sandwich, wrap it in aluminum foil and refrigerate it until ready to use. When you get to the tailgating party, place the sandwich in the foil on the grill and grill until warm. Serve right away. So good.
Although I’m feeling a little like a pig (not a little pig) right now, I send my best, and hope you enjoy the recipe.
Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with Caramelized Onions & Apple Butter
3 tablespoon butter or olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or do as I do and add 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (just remove stems after cooking)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple butter
1/4 cup country Dijon mustard
Thick slices of pork tenderloin (see recipe below, cook and set aside)
8 slices Muenster cheese Cheddar horseradish cheese (I use this)
1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread, long baguette or 4 bakery Hoagie rolls cut in half
Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and thyme and cook, stirring frequently until onions are golden brown or caramelized, and cooked through. Add the balsamic vinegar. Let simmer for several minutes, stirring often. This sweetens the vinegar. Set aside.
Mix the apple butter and country mustard. Set aside.
Cut the bread or rolls in half lengthwise. Spread very lightly with butter and put under the broiler only until warm. Spread each side of the bread or rolls with the apple butter, mustard mixture. Arrange the pork tenderloin slices on top of one side of the bread or roll. Cover with onion mixture, and then a slice of cheese. Close the sandwiches, and serve right away. Or, wrap in foil and refrigerate until ready to use. Warm through. This will make one French bread loaf or 4 bakery hoagie rolls. Serves 4-6.
Pork Tenderloin for Sandwiches
For the tenderloin sandwiches I used one of the two in the package. If you are making extra sandwiches, then use both, just double the ingredients below.
1/2 (2 lb) package pork tenderloin (1 package usually includes 2 tenderloins of about 1 pound each)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie or apple pie spice
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons red wine and olive oil vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
Add all ingredients to a plastic bag suitable for marinating. Add the pork tenderloin. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove and leave at room temperature while oven is preheating to 400 degrees. Place the tenderloin on a foil lined baking sheet and cook until the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 155-165 degrees. After removing from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes and then slice.
By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs
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