A hot and juicy pork tenderloin sandwich from Indiana
Indiana, home of the Hoosiers and their delicious sandwiches.
Indianapolis is a fun town, and beautiful to walk in spring. It turns out they also know how to fry the pants off some pork tenderloin. Behold the Hoosier sandwich! Look, it’s almost glowing:
It’s called a hoosier sandwich, after Hoosiers, the people of Indiana. The sandwich itself has some similarities to Wiener Schnitzel, as both are breaded and fried pork tenderloin cutlets.
A couple weeks ago my husband and I took a short weekend trip to Indianapolis. Whenever we travel, we’re always on the lookout for local foods to try. We couldn’t leave without hitting the Steer-In, a neat and friendly 50s style diner.
Outside, it looks like they were once a drive in (as the name suggests). Inside was a warm and bustling diner, filled with locals ordering Sunday brunch. In addition to ordering the Hoosier sandwiches, we were hoping to get some Hoosier pie, but unfortunately they didn’t have any that day. No matter, the sandwich and fries were quite filling and delicious.
Marinated vs unmarinated tenderloin
I took a couple liberties making this meal back home. Besides deciding to pan fry, I also choose to use a pre-marinated tenderloin. In part, this was due to expediency, for whatever reason my local Kroger more often has marinated pork tenderloins than unmarinated. Also, I thought it’d be fun to taste the flavor difference between the two.
Baked fries on the side
I didn’t want to break out a new jug of oil just for fries, so I baked a bunch while working on the sandwich. As a tip: you can get a crispier, more fried taste, by spraying both the pan and top of the fries with cooking spray. Cook at 425 for about 20 minutes.
Lets get cooking a Hoosier sandwich!
First, start by rinsing off the excess marinade (if using pre-marinated tenderloin). Cut off a section about as wide as your bun.
One of the hallmarks of this sandwich is that its thin and substantially longer than the bun. Go ahead and butterfly cut the section like the picture below. If you have a meat tenderizer, you can make the cut even thinner and longer. Place some cling wrap over the meat, and pound the section until you have a thin long cut.
Set the cutlet aside while we make the breading. Crack an egg into a bowl and lay out flour on a plate.
Chicken sandwiches often have a crunchy breading with little chunks to add texture.
You can achieve this effect by dripping some egg off a fork into the flour. Roll the egg into the flour. Do this until there are a healthy number of chucks in the flour, like below.
Now coat the pork in egg and coat with flour. Be sure to press the pork down into the flour to pick up the chunks.
Heat a pan to medium heat and add a healthy dose of cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cutlet. Fry until the bottom side is golden and flip, frying again until golden. You may need to add oil after flipping. When done, the pork should be between 150F and 160F.
When done, serve it on a bun with all your favorite toppings. We used a brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo.
Don’t forget the fries!
Recipe for a Hoosier Sandwich
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 Meat tenderizer optional
- 6 oz Pork Tenderloin
- 1 Bun (I used brioche)
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 egg
- toppings to taste (Lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo, etc)
- Rinse the tenderloin and cut a bun width segment off.
- Butterfly cut the tenderloin segment, so that it becomes half as thick and twice as long.
- Cover with cling wrap, and smash with a tenderizer until around 1cm thick
- Crack an egg into a bowl. Lay out flour on plate. Drip some egg into the flour with a fork, and roll to make chunks.
- Dunk the tenderloin into the egg and press all sides into the flour. Be sure to firmly press the tenderloin so it picks up the chunks.
- Heat a frying pan to medium heat, with a healthy amount of oil. Fry tenderloin on both sides until golden and done.
- Serve on a bun, with the toppings of your choice.