Central Illinois Pork Tenderloin
- One 1 1/2-pound pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Peanut oil, enough to fill your cast-iron skillet 1 to 2 inches high
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- Apricot Mustard Spread:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sandwich Build:
- 4 soft hoagie rolls, split in half lengthwise, buttered and lightly toasted
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Sliced dill pickles
- 4 to 8 iceberg lettuce leaves
For the tenderloin: Cut the tenderloin in 4 medallions. Butterfly each medallion crosswise, and then place each medallion between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound until each patty is 1/8-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches wide.
Mix together the buttermilk, honey, granulated garlic, salt, onion powder and paprika in a bowl to make the marinade. Place the pork into a 9- by 13-inch dish and cover in the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Set up a three-stage breading station, with the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate baking dishes. Place the marinated tenderloins first in the flour, shake off any excess, and then in the eggs, and let any excess drip off, and then in the breadcrumbs. Press the patties into the breadcrumbs until total coverage is achieved.
One at a time, fry each patty until golden brown, about 3 minutes, flipping if necessary. The pork is so thin, that by the time it is golden brown, it is done. Once the pork is finished, place it onto a wire-rack-lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm, if you like. If not, no worries, it's just as good at room temperature.
For the sandwich build: On each bottom bun, place 2 slices American cheese and then top with the warm pork tenderloin. Top the pork with red onions, pickles and lettuce. Schmear the apricot mustard spread onto the top bun and then top the sandwich.
Recipe courtesy Jeff Mauro