The weather in New York City isn't very spring-like just yet. But here and there we've had one or two warm, sunny days that have been getting me excited for picnic season in Central Park. If you've got good weather and are planning a meal outside, may I recommend my favorite sandwich?
We love any pork sandwich, whether it's slow-cooked pork shoulder or a roasted pork tenderloin. Tenderloin is especially tidy for a picnic; marinate it however you like, then roast or grill it and slice it up. (Or use leftovers from a previous dinner.)
The onion jam is a mixture of caramelized shallots, apricot jam, balsamic vinegar, and lots of salt and pepper. It's the topping we put on our Chicken with Shallot-Apricot Sauce, sans the chicken. You can certainly use a regular onion rather than shallots.
Along with these sandwiches, some homemade broccoli slaw, a couple of these cookies, and some bottled sodas are my idea of perfect picnic fare.
What do you like packing for your picnics?
Whenever I make pork tenderloin I always end up with leftovers. It's inevitable. And, while I generally love leftovers, there's never quite enough for a second meal. At least until I was introduced to Elizabeth's pork tenderloin sandwiches.
I will say this, though: While these sandwiches are my perfect solution for leftovers, they're way too delicious to be reserved for leftovers alone. Whether it's for lunch, dinner, or a picnic in the park, these sandwiches deserve your full attention.
What I love most about these sandwiches is the way the freshness of the pork, and the sweet, ever-so-slightly acidic onion jam play together. Every bite is full of rich, savory flavors that make me want to go back for more.
- Kelli, April 2015
Pork Tenderloin & Onion Jam Sandwiches
1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thick
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons apricot jam or preserves
Salt and pepper
4 large sandwich rolls
Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a heat-proof skillet on the middle rack to preheat with the oven. Pat the pork dry and cut off any large pieces of surface fat. Rub it generously with salt and pepper (you can also rub in 1 to 2 tablespoons of a favorite spice mix.)
Remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts and film the bottom with a little olive oil. Set the pork in the skillet and return to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then flip the pork to the other side. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature is 140°F to 145°F.
→ Get step-by-step visual instructions: How To Make Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and rest for at least 10 minutes. The pork can be served immediately, or cool completely and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
While the pork is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to get soft and the bottom of the pan begins to brown. Add the chicken broth, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan while the broth reduces. Add the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the apricot jam and stir to combine. The sauce will thicken but should still be easily stirred. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for about a week.
To serve, slice the pork tenderloin into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Divide the sliced pork between the rolls. Top with onion jam.
- Sandwiches can be served warm or chilled.
This recipe has been updated. Originally published May 2009.
(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)