Growing up in Indiana, the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich was and is a staple Comfort Food Dish. Crispy and crunchy breading is fried around a tender, juicy pork cutlet. Pile it with your favorite fixings on some bread and you have a true Hoosier classic!
Are you ready for a true Midwest Recipe? Here in Indiana, we know our Comfort Food!
One of the coolest things we’ve done in this blog is to develop our versions of regional culinary trademark dishes. We’ve had Goetta from Ohio, Texas Trash Dip from… well Texas and Finger Steaks From Idaho. So far, my favorite has been our Hot Brown Sandwich from Kentucky.
Today, we are gonna stay on the sandwich train with this awesome Midwestern recipe. If you live anywhere in the Midwest, especially Indiana, you’ve probably come across the classic Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.
What Is A Pork Tenderloin Sandwich?
A Pork Tenderloin Sandwich consists of a cut of pork that has been hammered thin, dredged and breaded and fried golden brown. A true Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin Sandwich is HUGE! Often, the pork cutlet is a lot larger than the bun. Ours didn’t get quite as big as they are a lot of the times.
It’s a lot like a Wiener Schnitzel except it’s make with pork instead of veal.
It was said to have originated just outside Ft. Wayne, Indiana at a place called Nick’s. Take a look at their website to see how big some of these sandwiches can get! A common hallmark of the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich is also all the fixing and toppings. Usually fresh lettuce, onions and tomatoes and, or course, Pickles! No matter how tender and juicy you can get the meat, to me, the most important part of this sandwich is the Mayonnaise. Don’t be shy with the mayo!
How To Make A Pork Tenderloin Sandich
This is an easy recipe and it cooks really quickly since the meat is pounded nice and thin!
It can also be used for more than just a sandwich. Make a couple of extra patties and you can dice them up to put them on top of a salad or in a wrap!
Here is what you’ll need to get started.
- Slices of pork tenderloin
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Seasoning salt
- Ground black pepper
- Bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil to fry
- Kaiser rolls, cut in half
What To Serve With A Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Storage and Freezing
Yes, you can cook and then save your Pork Tenderloin Sandwich in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping it over halfway through.
But honestly, they will never really taste as delicious as they taste right after they’ve been made.
Notes, Tips and Variations
- Full disclosure: once, I wasn’t paying attention to what side of the meat mallet I was using. I went hit the meat with the tenderizing side. This is NOT what you want to do! Flatten the meat with the FLAT side!
- If your tenderloin is looking too big for your bun, GOOD! This is how it’s supposed to be.
- An ideal thickness for the patty is about 1/2 inch thick. But you can adjust to your own taste. Just be aware that the cooking times will vary along with the thickness of the meat.
- Do NOT put ketchup on this sandwich. I repeat. NO KETCHUP!
- Letting the Cutlets sit for about 10 minutes before frying helps the breading adhere to the meat.
- When you take them out of the frying pan, put then on a cooling rack with a paper towel underneath. This helps keep the breading nice and crispy.
- We used Panko Bread Crumbs, but I’ve heard of people also using crushed crackers in their breading. Go for it if that sounds good! Try Saltine Crackers or Oyster Crackers.
- When letting the pork cutlets sit after you dredge and bread them, the best way to do this is to set up a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes cleanup a little easier!
Tools To Help This Recipe
I hope you enjoy this recipe for a Hoosier Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments section.
Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
- 4, 4 oz slices of pork tenderloin
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups bread crumbs
- vegetable oil to fry
- kaiser rolls cut in half
Place pork into a resealable gallon bag and seal shut. Use a meat tenderizer to flatten cutlet to about 1/4" in size. Repeat until all cutlets are flat.
In a small bowl, add buttermilk and spices. Mix well.
Pour into resealable bag with pork and seal shut. Refrigerate and marinate for 4 hours or overnight, occasionally turning and kneading bag.
Heat a skillet of hot oil.
Place bread crumbs onto a plate or shallow dish.
Remove 1 cutlet from the bag and add to bread crumbs, evenly coating both sides. Let cutlets sit for about 10 minutes on a drying rack.
Fry in a pan for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper plate.
Top a roll with mayonnaise, add cutlet, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles and top with remaining roll. Serve immediately.