Behold the supreme Midwestern sandwich. My husband has been trying to get me to make these for years now. Based on my, apparently poor, previous experience with pork tenderloin sandwiches, I was not in any hurry to put them on my menu.
Earlier this week, I decided I had put it off long enough. You know what? That just may have been one of the tastiest sandwiches I've ever eaten. I can't believe I waited so long to make them! I think every time I had had one of these while at restaurants they must have used pork loin and not tenderloin. Oh, what a difference! Be sure you use the real thing; you'll be glad you did.
The first step is to slice the tenderloin across the grain into two inch slices. Set the slice, cut side down, on the cutting board. Lay a piece of plastic wrap across the top and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet until the piece is nice and thin, just shy of a quarter of an inch.
Set up a breading line. In the first container, break two eggs and beat slightly. In the second container, put a couple of handfuls of panko bread crumbs. Crush the panko between your fingers for a minute to break down some of the larger pieces. Add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Fill a large skillet with one inch of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is nice and hot, about 350 degrees F. Dip the meat in the egg and then in the panko and then place directly into the hot oil.
Fry the tenderloins, flipping periodically, until they are nice and golden and cooked through. Mine cooked in about eight minutes total. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil hot but not too hot. Remove the pieces onto a paper towel lined dish. Serve on butter-toasted hamburger buns. I like mine plain, but my husband loves his with mayo, mustard, onions, and pickles.
Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
2" slices of pork tenderloin, pounded thin
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
enough vegetable oil to fill a large skillet one inch deep
Pound the slices of pork tenderloin until about 1/4 of an inch thick. Pour the oil into the skillet and turn the heat on to let it come up to frying temperature, 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, using a counter top griddle (or something similar), butter the cut sides of the buns and toast until nice and golden.
Toss together the bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Dip the pork fillets into the lightly beaten eggs and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Turn periodically until they are nice and golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve on the toasted hamburger buns.