"The pork tenderloin sandwich, while no masterpiece, deserves the spotlight every once in a while."
I'm getting a little tired of all these comparisons between the Indianapolis and New Orleans food scenes. I'm from Indiana, so I feel it's perfectly acceptable for me to cut straight through all this Super Bowl hysteria and just get to it.
The New Orleans vs. Indianapolis food battle isn't even close. I mean, I know people are going to try and bring up pork tenderloin sandwiches and that one good deli in Indianapolis (Shapiro's Deli) but let's be honest and not let our football preferences cloud our gastronomic judgment. Even if you ignore the wonder and complexity of Creole cuisine and just focus on sandwiches, New Orleans still has Indy clobbered. The muffuletta, roast beef po' boy with debris, and the shrimp po' boy, simply overwhelm the humble offerings available in the Circle City.
But like most things in the Midwest, there's something oddly comforting about being humble. The pork tenderloin sandwich, while no masterpiece, deserves the spotlight every once in a while, and this recipe from Midwest Living hits all the right notes.
It's basically a play on Wiener Schnitzel, swapping pork for veal. It's also pounded so thin the meat can reach comically large dimensions, sometimes engulfing a whole plate. The bun can end up looking woefully inadequate for the job.
Add some pickles, sliced onions, and maybe a little mustard or mayo, and you're ready for a perfectly fine sandwich that can be made in around 10 minutes. Honestly, I'd rather have a muffaletta in hand for game day, but I'll still root for the Colts.
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Canola oil, enough to deep-fat fry
- 4 large hamburger buns, split and toasted
- 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
- Dill pickle slices
- Condiments: mustard, mayo
Remove any fat or silver-skin from the pork tenderloin. Sliced it crosswise into four pieces. Place one piece cut side up between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound carefully with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with other three pieces.
On a plate, combine the flour, onion salt, garlic salt, and black pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. On a second plate, add the bread crumbs.
Pour enough oil in a large dutch oven to come a few inches up. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring the temperature to 365°F.
Dredge a piece of flatten pork in the flour until well coated. Shake off the excess flour and then dip in the whisked egg. Then immediately transfer to the plate with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle extra breadcrumbs on top until the pork is completely coated. Then gently shake off the excess.
Transfer the piece of pork to the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer to a plate with paper towels, and keep warm in a low oven while you repeat the dredging and frying with the other pieces.