This post might be labeled pork sandwiches, but the real highlight of this is the jam. I have a thing for savory jams; it’s like having a little bit of dessert with dinner. They complement savory dishes, they are made with savory ingredients…but that touch of sweetness is just what the dish needed. Like this onion jam- made with shallots, Vidalia onions, and roasted garlic. Yes, they are onions, but they are the sweet kind. I LOVE Vidalia onions, what’s not to love about an onion you can eat like an apple? Ok, maybe not JUST like an apple, but it has a sweet flavor with less of the lingering bite of your average onion. Shallots are another favorite of mine, they have a light bite when they are raw, but as they cook they release an earthy sweetness. Add a little roasted garlic and a few other ingredients and you have quite possibly the best sandwich condiment ever.
You can cook the pork tenderloin anyway you like, or you can even use leftover pork. The jam can be made ahead of time, which makes this a perfect picnic meal. Picnics are cute, and impressive picnic food is a sure fire way to make a good impression on a date…I’m just sayin’.
Sweet Onion and Roasted Garlic Jam
3-4 medium shallots
1 medium Vidalia onion (or sweet of any variety)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 full head of garlic
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup brown sugar
1 head of garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
Start by roasting the garlic. Preheat the oven to 350. Slice off about ¼ inch off the top of the head of garlic, just exposing the top of the cloves. Place on top of a square of foil, and drizzle with olive oil, pull up the sides and twist to close. Roast the garlic for about 30-45 minutes or until the cloves are soft.
Slice or dice yoru onions and shallots*. I prefer a thin slice, about ¼” X ½”. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large heavy bottom sauce pan or enameled dutch oven. Saute the onions and shallots until they are fragrant and transparent, about 3 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients with the exception of the garlic, which is probably still roasting. Stir all ingredients together and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by ½. Whenever the garlic is done, or for at least the last 10 minutes, squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, crush some of the larger cloves of garlic if desired.
Serve over thinly slice pork tenderloin on a bun.
The pork can be cooked anyway you want; you can tell by the pink smoke ring on my pork that I smoked it, but whatever you want will be delicious! Here is an easy way to cook pork tenderloin:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper. Sear all sides in a large skillet on high heat, if the skillet is oven proof move directly into the oven. If not, transfer to a large sheet pan and cook in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. Let the pork tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.
A few notes:
* Cat and I have a running argument on shapes of onions in things like French onion soup, and jams. I like little slices, she likes a dice. Pick what you like, and let us know. I’m pretty sure I’m in the majority here.
-If you are new to shallots, you will be pleasantly surprised by their more subtle onion flavor, they also get sweeter as they cook, similar to garlic. There are a number of varieties of shallots; but in a normal super market you will most likely only see French, or common, shallots. They have a grayish purple skin and are usually found close to the garlic.
– You could also serve this on pulled pork. Or eat it by the spoonful.
– According to the FDA pork can now be cooked to 145 degrees. This is how you’ve been eating it in restaurants for years, but if it still makes you uncomfortable, cook it up to a full 160.