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Let summer time grilling commence!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Bell Pepper Coleslaw with Maple Balsamic Dressing!
Growing up in Illinois, our local restaurants always featured pork tenderloin sandwiches. We’d often get the fried kind for lunch at school. In high school I became a big fan of grilled pork tenderloin sandwiches. It wasn’t until I moved away that I realized that pork tenderloin sandwiches are a bit of a novelty. I’m not sure how exactly they are prepared, but I remember the chefs at the restaurants I worked at slicing them and pounding them with a big metal hammer. So that’s what I have always done.
A grilled pork tenderloin sandwich is an excellent addition to your summer time BBQ menu. I love offering this unique meal to our guests. By using a Smithfield® tenderloin that is already marinated, I cut my work into half. I can still have great flavor, but without the mess. Although you can eat the sandwich with the meat alone, I love to kick it up a notch and top it with coleslaw. For this recipe I used the Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Peppercorn Tenderloin.
Today’s recipe is for a Balsamic Bell Pepper Coleslaw. I’ve simplified things by using a bag of pre shredded cabbage and lettuce. I did chop my own onions and bell peppers, but you could always use a food processor if you wanted to cut even more time off.
I love getting the mixed bag of red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots. The 3 peppers add even more color to the dish. I like to use a yellow, red, and orange bell pepper. I thinly slice them, along with the green onions (whites and stems). Mix them all up in the bowl and add in the dressing.
I love to combine balsamic vinegar with peppers. They pair so nicely. This is a classic coleslaw dressing with the addition of the balsamic vinegar and a bit of maple syrup. The maple syrup helps sweeten it a bit, and really enhances the flavor. The sweetness pairs well with the cracked peppercorn marinade on the pork tenderloin. The dressing is easy to make ahead of time.
Once you’ve drizzled all that dressing on, it’s time to toss those veggies! I like to use tongs, as gently as I can. You want it to still be fluffy, but evenly coated. This coleslaw recipe makes a huge bowl worth. It’s a crowd favorite though, so you might not be lucky enough to have some left over. But if you do- add the coleslaw and left over pork on a bed of salad greens for a fantastic salad the next day!
Once you’ve made the coleslaw, go ahead and start pre-heating your grill. Now let’s get to work on those tenderloin patties! I cut my tenderloin on the diagonal about 1/2 of an inch thick. Next, place each slice in-between 2 pieces of parchment paper, wax paper or cling film. Using a meat tenderizer (the flat side, not the points!), pound away. This is incredible to relieve some pent up anger! I like to get mine to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Since they are on the thin side, they cook super fast! You can toast your buns while your at it. I’ve topped mine with provolone cheese!
Once they are grilled and cooked through, it’s time to assemble our sandwiches! Place 1-2 tenderloin patties onto your bun. Cheese is totally optional.
Next, layer on a good scoop of that balsamic bell pepper coleslaw! Don’t be shy! Finally, top with your other bun half. The hardest part of this sandwich is eating it! Coleslaw can be a bit messy, but it’s worth all those dirty napkins!
We’ve served ours with everyone’s favorite potato chips and orange slices. Talk about a well rounded meal! All this, in less than 30 minutes!
GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICHES FEATURING A BELL PEPPER COLESLAW WITH MAPLE BALSAMIC DRESSING
For the coleslaw:
- 3 peppers
- 1 bag of pre shredded cabbage and carrots
- 2 green onions
- For the dressing:
- 3 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup dijon
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
For the tenderloin patties:
- 1 Smithfield® tenderloin
For the dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
For the coleslaw:
- Remove the top and seeds from the peppers, and then thinly slice the peppers. Place in a large bowl with the cabbage mix. Finely slice the green onions (white parts and green parts) and add into the bowl.
- Pour the dressing all over, and toss with tongs to coat. Allow to rest while you prepare the tenderloin patties.
For the tenderloin patties:
- Pre-heat your grill on the medium high setting.
- Cut the tenderloin on the diagonal about 1/2 of an inch thick. Next, place each slice in-between 2 pieces of parchment paper, wax paper or cling film. Using a meat tenderizer (the flat side, not the points!), pound away. Your patties are ready when they are about 1/4 inch thick.
- Grill for 5-7 minutes on one side. The meat will begin to turn a light white color. Flip and grill for another 5 minutes. The edges should have a nice char and the meat should be cooked through.
- Place the tenderloins on a bun, and top with coleslaw mixture.
I purchased my Smithfield® Tenderloin at my local Walmart store. The night I went to grill it, I realized that it wasn’t in the refrigerator. Fearing the worst, I went out to my car expecting to find it in my trunk, in the Texas heat. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t there. I realized that i had actually left it on the baggage area in the self check line. I called my local store who verified that I had in fact left it behind. They were very gracious and allowed me to come back in with my receipt and grab another one. They had a little book of forgotten items that they had me sign. Which proved to me I’m not the first to have this problem! I do appreciate that they were so accommodating!
You can find the Smithfield@ products in the pork section of your meat department. They offer several flavors, so look for:
You can find more Smithfield® recipes and ideas on their social media channels. Be sure to click to connect!