“Too few people understand a really good sandwich.”
The Starting Point to a Really Good Sandwich.
Some days I wake up brimming with ideas I will write about to hopefully inspire you in the kitchen… or maybe just INTO the kitchen. Other days I wake up with a burning desire to create a marinade for pork tenderloin which would allow that gorgeous ( & inexpensive!) little cut of meat to transition from sliced for sandwich meat to a proper sit-down dinner. Odd perhaps, and also a little glimpse into my world.
I think the message here is to go with the flow!
As always I perused my rather large collection of cookbooks for inspiration while I enjoyed my morning coffee. I found just what I was after in a book I’ve had for years from the Greek Islands.
This recipe is inspired by the one which the author of the cookbook claims to be her go-to for large gatherings. I’ve added a few components and altered the cooking technique I thought would improve it and dare I say, I was correct.
The process itself is so simple and the only timing issue that you’ll need to concern yourself with is that of the actual cooking. You’ll need to plan for 3-5 minutes of browning on all sides in a cast iron to start, then into a 375° oven for a further 20 minutes. I can’t help but feel the longer you marinade this little baby the more delectable it will be, but that timing will be entirely up to you and your schedule.
I’m not going to lie, when you get to the browning in a cast iron pan, prepare yourself for a bit of smoke and possibly a bit of spice inspired coughing… just thought I’d mention it. I’m fairly inured to it for some reason, so much so in fact that Jessica tells me REGULARLY that I’m smoke-blind. That and I typically take down the smoke detector in advance to avoid giving my cats heart attacks.
It was John’s idea to turn it into a sandwich and I think that was inspired thinking! We tossed around a few ideas for toppings and although there are TONS of options we settled on just these few. As always though, I heartily encourage you to make it your own by playing around with some of your personal faves.
Menu suggestion: As this is designed as a sandwich it stands alone, however, if you plan on serving it as a main course at dinner I think either Israeli Couscous if it’s a larger crowd or perhaps Fatoush!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- FOR THE MARINADE
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping TBSP fresh oregano (dried is fine but cut back amount to heaping tsp)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp (OR MORE!) chilli pepper flakes
- Pork Tenderloin
- FOR THE TOPPINGS (SHOWN)
- 1 red onion, sliced
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (or any other plain yogurt)
- 2 small cucumbers, grated
- 1 heaping TBSP dried mint
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh parsley, rough torn
- Pita bread
- Combine ingredients for marinade in a small bowl
- Poke pork tenderloin a few times with a fork and toss in with the marinade, flipping to coat. Set aside at room temp for about 30 minutes. If you are going to marinade for longer refrigerate (remembering to turn in the bowl periodically) and remove from fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Cover red onion in red wine vinegar and toss periodically. Allow to sit at room temp for AT LEAST 30 mins. Drain before using.
- Combine yogurt, grated cucumber and dried mint in a small bowl
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Heat cast iron pan on a hot burner for about 60 seconds then pop your tenderloin into the hot pan with most of its marinade. Turn every 3 minutes or so to brown on all sides.
- Pop it into pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes until just barely pink inside (and yes you can eat pork slightly pink I PROMISE!) Or you can choose to cook to an internal temp of 145°
- Allow pork to stand for about 10 minutes before slicing