We LOVE the 50 nifty United States of this awesome country and believe each state is special. Every Monday we feature a sandwich unique to its state as part of our “50 Sandwiches, 50 States, 50 Weeks” series beginning with Alabama and ending with Wyoming.
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: “I love our weekly sandwich series!” I’ve learned so much and tried things I would have never tried before. Plus it’s a lot of fun! And this Indiana sandwich is no exception. It’s simple, yet so delicious and I would have never tried frying pork tenderloin. Doy! Why not? It’s fantastic!
This sandwich is the cousin to to the Wiener Schnitzel and is said to have originated from Nick’s Kitchen, a restaurant in Huntington, IN (also the home of former Vice-President Dan Quayle). Apparently there’s a little rivalry between Indiana and Iowa as to who’s the reigning king of this sandwich, but it appears Indiana takes the prize.
For this recipe I chose to use actual tenderloin although many recipes use the loin, which is pounded to a 1/4 inch thickness then marinated in seasoned buttermilk. It’s then dredged in flour, then saltine cracker crumbs and fried golden brown in peanut oil. Google “pork tenderloin sandwich” and you will see pictures of these sandwiches with a giant piece of pork that is about 3 times larger than the bun, but mine didn’t quite work out that way. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want it to and subconsciously like things that fit the bun??
So tender and juicy! Complete with thinly sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle (a must in my opinion), mayo and mustard and you’ve got a wonderful sandwich.
P.S. We ate the leftover cold fried pork the next day and it was dee-lish!
- 2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk mixed with 2 Tbsps. lemon juice or vinegar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. each black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- 2 sleeves saltine crackers
- 1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt
- Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
- 8 hamburger buns
- After you trim the fat and silver skin off the tenderloin you can either 1. cut the the loin in 3 inch slices, then butterfly each slice and pound to a ¼ inch thickness or 2. butterfly the whole tenderloin down the center lengthwise and pound to a ¼ inch thickness then cut into desired pieces. Be sure you use the flat side of a mallet and piece of plastic wrap on top of the loin when pounding the meat out.
- In a large, shallow bowl or pan whisk together the milk, eggs, spices, salt and sugar together.
- Add the tenderloin to the milk mixture making sure the pork is completely covered and marinate 4 hours.
- Blend crackers in a food processor to make coarse crumbs then transfer to a shallow dish.
- Put flour mixed with salt in a shallow dish.
- Heat 1 inch of oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
- Take each piece of pork and dredge both sides in the flour, then dip back into the milk mixture, and then coat each side in the cracker crumbs.
- Add to the hot oil and fry in batches until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Build your sandwich and eat!