Intro: Seared Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches for Two
Sandwiches are awesome. In fact, I'd like to take a moment just to thank the Earl of Sandwich for allowing us all to indulge in the glorious simplicity of food between two pieces of bread. Being in a hurry unfortunately often means that any sandwich that gets thrown together is either a sorry collection of fridge bits and cold cuts or an amalgamation of what we scrounge up from last night's leftovers. Certainly these can be good, but why not enjoy something on the fresher side without really sacrificing much time?
This recipe takes at the very most twenty minutes to put together at the very most and will have you crying the tears of joy that could only be cried while eating the best damn sandwich you've ever had.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
For a pair of sandwiches you'll be needing:
- 4 Slices of Pork Tenderloin (about 45 grams each)
- 1 Medium Tomato (Sliced into 4 slices, the rest makes great snacks while cooking)
- 4 Leaves of Lettuce (trim the bottom inch off to get rid of the bitter bits)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Frying Pan
- Cutting board
- Two Plates
Step 2: Maillard Is Our Friend
Let's get cooking!
Here's what we need to do:
- Season the tenderloin slices and toss in a plate to ensure they are evenly coated.
- Heat a pan to high heat with no oil - remember the title of this step, Maillard* is our friend.
- Put the pieces of the tenderloin onto the pan, remember to space evenly (they are supposed to stick here)
- Flip when dark and golden on the bottom and the top is framed in white (about 1.5 - 2 minutes)
- Once both sides are finished put into the second place to rest for about 5-10 minutes
- During the rest time slice the tomatoes and snap the bottoms off of the lettuce leaves.
- Assemble your sandwich
We use a quick cook method like this to avoid the greatest culinary sacrilege to ever become commonplace. Pork should never, Never, NEVER be grey. Pork can be pink, but it must be at an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C) to kill the nasties. If your pork is dry, flabby, and sickly looking it means the temperature was too low and it was cooked for too long. We seek to lock in the juicy, pork flavors rather than let them bleed out into the ban to become ash.
*The Maillard Reaction is basically where the amino acids in protein break down and reform into the delicious brown crust that we so crave on meat. The reaction with oil and heat is different stuff so we don't want any of it involved here.
Step 3: The Sandwich Sitch
So what else can we add to our sandwich? Well in Bavaria I had some boar with currant jam that still haunts my every pork dish so that always goes along well with some creme fraische. I'm a simple man these days so I just throw on some mustard and mayo without too much flair. Naturally toasting the bread or going full blown panini is an option as well.
In fact, if there's anything from this recipe to take away it's the way I cook the tenderloin. Armed with that you could make any sandwich with any conceivable flavor under the sun. So go forth friend and make the best sandwich you could imagine, but be sure to share as I too wish to indulge in that delightful simplicity that is two pieces of bread and a few things in between which you have come up with.