Last Updated on August 5, 2020
You know how it goes in summertime. Sometimes you want nothing more than an afternoon spent loafing in the backyard, beer in hand, poking at the coals, and tending to whatever you’ve thrown on the grill.
Other days, you want to be as far away from the cooking process as possible—the beach is calling and you must answer. That’s why grilling a big hunk of meat is the move. First, you grill. Then, you use the leftover meat to pack some sandwiches for a beach picnic.
Wins all around.
Here are some ideas for what to serve with those large cuts—both the first and second time.
Pork Tenderloin Dinner and Leftover Beach Sandwiches
This is one of my favorite larger pieces of meat to throw over the coals because it cooks relatively quickly and lends itself well to many different flavor profiles. I like to make a simple spice mix with brown sugar, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and rub it on the pork a few hours before I plan to grill it.
For a super-summery dinner that can get cooked entirely outdoors, light a gas or charcoal grill. If using gas, light the grill to high on one side and low on the other. If using charcoal, light the coals and when they burn down, bank the coals on one side of the grill.
Sear the tenderloin for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, then move it to the cooler side of the grill, cover and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Throw on some corn—it takes about 10 minutes on the hot side (brush with oil and turn occasionally), and add some halved and pitted peaches—sear, cut side down, for 3 to 4 minutes before moving them over and cooking for about five more minutes, cut side up.
With the leftover pork, make a big sandwich with an entire loaf of ciabatta bread. Just cut the loaf in half horizontally so there are a top and bottom and remove some of the dough from the interior (save it for breadcrumbs). Spread one side with grainy mustard and the other side with any fruit chutney you might have—or if you have any leftover grilled peaches, use those. Build the rest of the sandwich with thinly sliced leftover pork, cheddar cheese, and arugula lightly dressed with olive oil and a splash of vinegar.
Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and pack it for your picnic. Don’t forget to bring a cutting board and knife to cut the sandwich into 4 to 6 pieces and serve.
Boneless Pork Chops with Salsa and a Pesto Pork Sandwich
Also cut from the pork loin, these chops are juicy, flavorful, and easy to cook. I like to season them with salt, pepper, and some garlic and fennel seeds that I’ve pounded together with a mortar and pestle. Grill until they reach an internal temperature of about 145°F and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. I like these chops with a quick cherry salsa over the top, some crispy pan-fried potatoes, and a simple salad.
For a really good sandwich the next day, use the same bread as with the tenderloin—a halved ciabatta with some of the dough pulled out. Spread both sides with pesto. Layer on the sliced pork, chopped olives, provolone cheese, and some rings of pickled peppers. Chopped parsley would be nice sprinkled in, too. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and cut to serve. Yum.
Marinated Beef Tri-Tip and One of My Favorite Leftover Sandwiches
This might be a less-familiar cut of beef, but it’s no less delicious when bathed in a flavorful marinade and then grilled low and slow. Whisk together a mixture of pale ale, minced garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno, some brown sugar, and fish sauce and let the meat marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Grill tri-tip to an internal temp of 135°F and rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve the tri-tip with white rice, quick-pickled cucumbers, and a shower of chopped fresh mint and cilantro.
With the leftover beef, you can later make a sandwich similar to a Vietnamese banh-mi. Find the airiest baguette you can, cut into four pieces, and split lengthwise. Spread the inside of the bread with sriracha-spiked mayo and fill with the beef, along with more pickled cukes, radishes, scallion greens, thinly sliced jalapeno, and cilantro leaves. Gah, sometimes I forget how good this sandwich is.
So whether it’s a lazy afternoon at home or a delicious picnic on the beach, these big cuts of meat will serve you well.
See? You really can have it all.
Leigh Belanger is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her 2018 cookbook, My Kitchen Chalkboard, features a year of seasonal family dinners with menu ideas and meal planning tips to help make home cooking easier.