Tender and juicy, my pork tenderloin sandwich is loaded with lots of flavor with savory beer-braised onions and tangy sauerkraut. Piled onto a crusty roll with melted Swiss cheese, this delicious recipe is a little taste of Eastern European comfort food in a hearty sandwich!
Memories of Comfort in a Savory Sandwich
Growing up in an Eastern European household, we often enjoyed rustic dishes prepared with braised cabbage or sauerkraut, paired with some sort of savory and saucy meat.
A meal like this is a kind of classic “peasant food”, and it's one of my favorite styles of food to this day, one that I still gravitate towards when I'm longing to enjoy a meal that celebrates my European heritage.
Nothing was more delicious to us than dipping fresh bread into that savory leftover sauce from the meat with those little bits of onion in it. Those aromatic flavors coated the palette with such richness as the soft-yet-slightly-chewy bread simply melted away...
To this day, I still love to dip my bread into a sauce like that!
It got me thinking that perhaps a delicious and hearty sandwich could be made with some of the same flavors to bring back those memories, and so a recipe for a pork tenderloin sandwich sounded like just the ticket.
Roasted pork tenderloin, all peppery and crusty on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, is a perfect partner for sweet-n-savory beer-braised onions and tangy sauerkraut with it's crispy bite.
These ingredients stuffed in a soft crusty roll, along with melted Swiss cheese, make for a succulent pork tenderloin sandwich that's simply steeped in love and some “old-world” flavor.
How to Make a Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Because roasted pork tenderloin is a naturally tender and juicy cut of meat, all it needs is a liberal rub of seasoning to give it a little “boost”.
I like to rub pork tenderloin with a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, a pinch of caraway seeds, a little smear of mustard, plus a sprinkle of dried herbs to help create a savory crust.
Then, I simply roast the tenderloin in a hot oven until golden-brown before thinly slicing it, so it can be easily layered with the other mouthwatering ingredients in a sandwich.
Here's a peek at my pork tenderloin sandwich recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I season my pork tenderloin, then roast it for roughly 40 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temp reads 155°.
- While the pork roasts away, I braise my sliced onions in a good beer (one that I'd drink along with the sandwich), until sweet and caramelized.
- To assemble my sandwich, I slice the pork tenderloin thinly, add a layer of it to the bottom half of my prepared crusty roll, then top with a slice of Swiss cheese.
- I broil the sandwich, just until the cheese is melted, then spoon over some of the braised onions and a sprinkle of cool sauerkraut, cover with the top half of my roll (smeared with extra mustard, of course!), and serve hot.
Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: Eastern European
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Info: 685 calories per sandwich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon granulate garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (or dried herbs)
- ¼ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 ½ pounds total)
- Avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, plus more to spread on the sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 onions, quartered and sliced
- 1 cup beer (I used Pilsner Urquell)
- 4 rustic rolls, sliced in half
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 cup sauerkraut
- Preheat your oven to 425°, and place a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.
- To a small ramekin, add 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, the granulated onion and garlic, the Italian seasoning and the ground caraway seeds; set these dry rub ingredients aside for a moment.
- Place your pork tenderloin on a work surface (or into a large bowl) and drizzle a teaspoon or two of the oil over; rub the spicy brown mustard all over it, and sprinkle the dry rub evenly over, as well, rubbing it in.
- Place the tenderloin onto the wire rack, and roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until a digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 155° (as the meat rests the temp will come up slightly more).
- While the tenderloin roasts, add the butter to a large, heavy bottom pan (I love my cast iron skillet for this) set over high heat; once melted, add in the sliced onions along with a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper, and stir the onions around occasionally, allowing them to caramelize for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
- Then, add in the beer, and allow it to vigorously bubble and boil, reducing down for about 5 minutes, until the onions are glossy and have a jam-like consistency; set onions aside and keep warm.
- Once the tenderloin has roasted, allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread some of the mayo and the mustard on the bottom of the roll, add some slices of pork tenderloin, and top with a slice of Swiss cheese; place under the broiler for a couple of minutes until melted.
- Next, top with a couple of tablespoons of the beer-braised onions and about ¼ cup of the sauerkraut, spread some mayo and mustard on the top roll to cover, and enjoy.
Tips & Tidbits for my Pork Tenderloin Sandwich:
- Caraway seeds in the spice mix: If you can't find ground caraway seeds, you can get whole ones (which is what I do), and grind them yourself in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Or, you can leave them out all together, if you prefer.
- Use a digital thermometer to get the proper temp: It is recommended for pork to have an internal temperature of between 145° (for medium rare) to 160° (for medium). I like to remove mine from the oven around 150-155°, and allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing (the temp continues to go up slightly as the meat rests). I recommend using a digital thermometer for accuracy, rather than go solely based on time.
- Choose a good beer to braise your onions: I love a good Czech Pilsner, so I used a cup for my beer-braised onions. But feel free to use whatever type of beer you like, something you'd drink along with your sandwich!
- Rinse your kraut to cut the “sharpness”: Since sauerkraut can be quite sharp and tangy, you can give it quick rinse under running water to cut that sharpness a bit(pat dry with a paper towel), if you prefer. Otherwise, if you like some extra tang, use the kraut straight out of the package!
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!