Jeff Mauro's Indiana Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Beauty, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 33.
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro

Indiana Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches
I first had this sandwich in Peoria, Illinois, during my college years. I’ve never been more excited to eat a sandwich that was 97 percent crispy fried pork and 3 percent bun. This is a classic regional sandwich throughout the Midwest, especially in Indiana. Of course, I added a fun and creamy sauce to jazz it up.

Ingredients

Apricot-Mustard Spread:

Pickled Red Onions:

Directions

  1. Cut each tenderloin in half right in the center, top to bottom. Then, butterfly by cutting across the equator, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Using a meat mallet, pound until 1/8 inch thick and each piece is 8 to 10 inches wide. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pork to a large bowl or baking dish and cover with the buttermilk. Brine for 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  3. Using a three-stage FEB breading station, place the flour in one shallow container, whisked eggs in another, and cracker crumbs in another. Season all dishes with salt and pepper.
  4. Let excess buttermilk drain off the pork. One at a time, dip the cutlets first in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the eggs and let excess drip off, then dredge in the dish of cracker crumbs and press until total coverage is achieved. Place on a sheet tray while you heat up the oil.
  5. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat to about 350 degrees F. Working with one cutlet at a time, fry until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Let drain on paper towel-lined sheet pans. Hold in the oven to keep warm.
  6. For the sandwich build: Place a giant fried tenderloin piece on a bottom bun, then top with some pickled onions, lettuce and tomato. Schmear the top bun with apricot-mustard spread and close up the sandwich. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more sandwiches.

Apricot-Mustard Spread:

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
  1. Mix the mayo, mustard, horseradish, apricot preserves and garlic until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Pickled Red Onions:

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
  1. Simmer the vinegar, 1/2 cup water, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, stirring, until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the onion and let sit overnight.