Recipe: Roasted Pork Loin Grilled Cheese
Kitchens are flooded with the smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all things pumpkin this time of year. It is the season of comfort foods. When it comes to comfort foods, can any sandwich rival the grilled cheese? If you are like my husband, you may challenge that—he is not a big fan of any meatless meal. So when my friend Brandy Kemper shared her recipe for roasted pork loin grilled cheese sandwiches with me I added it to our dinner calendar immediately! Now, I am here to share it with you.
This decadent sandwich combines rich caramelized onions, buttery Havarti cheese, roasted pork loin, and hearty bread to create a completely satisfying meal.
I served these on Saturday, after a day spent outside in the crisp fall air. But in preparation for this dinner, I had roasted the pork loin Friday night so when Saturday came, I could just assemble the sandwiches and be done. Next time, I will go ahead and caramelize the onions in advance; it proved to take longer than I had realized. To roast the pork loin, you will cover the whole loin in oil and coat the entire thing in your preferred seasoning to create a delicious herby crust– I used Weber roasted garlic and herb seasoning. Roast your pork at 350 degrees, cooking it 15-20 minutes per pound; the internal temperature should be 145-160 degrees. If you are like me, you may have experienced dried out pork loin in the past but this tip Brandy shared did the trick in keeping it from drying out:
Place the tenderloin in your pan fat side up this will keep your loin from drying out and cook with the lid on for most of the cooking time. Then remove the lid for like the last 20 minutes of the cooking time to allow the herbs to create a crust.
I do not own a roasting pan with a lid, so I used foil over top and removed it for the last 20 minutes and it worked perfectly! From there I allowed the pork to cool on the counter and moved it to the fridge after about an hour, allowing it to rest overnight. When dinner time came around Saturday, I sliced the pork loin into ¼ inch thick slices and began assembling the sandwiches. I used two pieces of thick cut bread, each buttered on one side, and layered the following: Havarti cheese slice, caramelized onion, two slices of pork loin, Havarti cheese slice, and topped with the second piece of bread. I cooked the grilled cheese with a lid on to ensure the cheese was super melty and the pork was warmed. The result was warm, gooey, and so satisfying!
There are a few ways to jazz sandwich up but trust me, it is perfectly delicious left alone; you could add red pepper or jalapeno jelly between the bread and Havarti (that is what is pictured below) or could add sautéed mushrooms to your caramelized onion.
Decadent Roasted Pork Loin Grilled Cheese
Makes 4 Sandwiches
1 lb. pork loin
8 slices of Havarti cheese
8 slices of a hearty bread like wheat or honey oat
1.5 tbls butter for grilled cheese
2 tbls oil, use whatever you have on hand
5 tbls (approx.) favorite seasoning for pork loin (I used Weber roasted garlic and herb)
The night before, set your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your pork loin; take the whole loin and cover with oil of your choice, I use whatever I have on hand. Then coat the entire tenderloin with your favorite seasoning. Place the tenderloin in pan fat side up this will keep your loin from drying out. Cook the pork loin with the lid on, removing it for the last 20 minutes—this allows the herbs to create a crust.
You will cook it 15-20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature is between 145 and 160 degrees. The inside of pork may appear slightly pink but that is okay; you are cooking it again when you make the sandwich. Let the roast rest overnight in your refrigerator.
The next day, caramelize sweet or yellow onions and set aside. Slice your roasted pork loin into 1/4-inch-thick slices, remove any excess fat, and set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, lightly butter the outside of the bread then layer in this order: cheese on each slice of bread then onions, then two pork slices in the center of the sandwich, another slice of cheese and top with a second slice of bread. Grill as desired – I like a nice light brown on each side to melt the cheese.
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