Here, finally, is the centerpiece of our Memorial Day Picnic. I think it’s our best sandwich yet. The delicious combo of savory pork, sweet berry chutney and crusty baguette edges out the banana nutella panino by virtue of the fact that it’s healthier and tastes exactly like summer. Fresh strawberries and herbs simmered into a sweet and savory jam have a magical way of distilling the season.
The chutney takes time to cool so make that first, maybe the day before. We based this recipe on one I developed for plum jam a few years ago when we taught a fall cooking class with a roast pork menu. I had forgotten all about it, but Lydia, who has an elephant’s memory for taste and everything else, remembered it immediately once we started discussing pork. The switch to strawberry made an even better chutney than she recalled.
Makes 2 cups
This savory chutney is delicious with roasted meats and on a cheese plate
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 cups strawberries, about 1 pint, quartered then cut in half if quarters are large
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
10 grinds black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallot until transparent. Add the berries and stir until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir until sugar is dissolved and vinegar has evaporated. Stir in the butter to finish and remove from the heat. The chutney will thicken as it cools.
The pork marinade is a riff on one Lydia learned from Drew’s family. It’s simple but so flavorful that this pork will immediately assert itself as King of your pork memory –pushing aside all those bland, sawdust-dry failures. Assuming that you too carry secret pork shame.
To make a great thing even better, The USDA recently lowered the minimum temperature for cooking pork, so you can roast or grill yours confidently to a petal pink 145 degrees which is how we’ve been doing it all along. The difference is huge.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Makes 6 baguette sandwiches
1 pork tenderloin
Black and white peppers
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Pepper the pork tenderloin. Mix together the soy sauce, smashed garlic cloves and fresh thyme in a plastic bag. Place pork into the bag and coat with marinade. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours.
Bring the pork to room temperature before grilling over medium-high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side. After removing from the grill, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes, tented with foil. Slice baguette into 6 portions, slicing each portion in half horizontally. Smear one side of the baguette with mayo to taste. Top with sliced pork and frisée. Spread savory strawberry chutney on the other side of the baguette and top sandwich. Serve immediately.