Hoosier Tenderloin


Indiana is the heart of Midwest tenderloin country. Of its tenderloin, the menu at Nick’s Kitchen of Huntington boasts “Bet you need both hands!” In fact, it is not the biggest — size is a major issue among tenderloin fanciers — but many connoisseurs believe it is the best. To be clear, in this part of the world, the term “tenderloin” is not just a cylinder of pork. It is a sandwich made from slices of that pork, the meat pounded thin and wide, breaded and fried, and bunned with appropriate condiments. (Do note that prep time for this sandwich is only 10 minutes, but the slices of pork loin need to marinate overnight.)

Roadfood review of Nick’s Kitchen: https://roadfood.com/restaurants/nicks-kitchen/

All-purpose flour
4 5-ounce patties of pork loin, cut about 1-inch thick
2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Oil for frying
2 cups crushed saltine crackers
4 large hamburger buns or hard rolls
Mustard & pickle chips, or other condiments of choice

Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a smooth, clean surface and use a meat pounder to pound each slice of tenderloin until it is about 1/4-inch thick.

Mix together the buttermilk, flour, and eggs to make a paste. In a shallow dish, cover the tenderized patties of pork with this mixture. Cover the dish and refrigerate it 12-16 hours.

Heat cooking oil in an iron skillet to 350 degrees.

Bread the soaked patties with the crushed saltine crackers. Cover and pat them dry with the crackers.

Ease each patty into the hot oil and fry until golden blonde.

Sandwich each patty in a bun and dress with mustard and pickle chips.

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