Usually, "pork tenderloin sandwich" calls to mind the decadent fried tenderloins that overflow from buns across Indiana and southern Illinois. But almost as delicious and not nearly as deadly is roasted pork tenderloin. I've often turned to it for easy suppers, but I never thought of slicing it up for sammies. Thankfully, my future bro-in-law Adam did.
Before roasting the pork tenderloin in the oven, Adam laid sliced apples across the top, so those roasted, too, until they were warm and velvety. We cut up some French bread, added sauteed onions and mustard, and topped the pork with apples or Swiss cheese or both.
Forgive the low-light iPhone photos. Had I known we were having sandwiches for dinner, I would have planned better.
When the footlong slab of snapper arrived on my dinner plate (really more like a platter) at Suppenkuche the other night, I immediately had visions of serving it as a sandwich, pork tenderloin style. I saw it spilling over the sides of an undersized hamburger bun like the Wiener schnitzel-inspired pork sammies of Hoosier land, its golden bread a glistening testament to German cuisine.
I ate about half my fish, and so did my future mother-in-law, so I ended up with a whole serving of snapper leftover. I abandoned my Indiana sandwich dreams and instead turned to New Orleans for inspiration to create a sort of makeshift po'boy. To hear about my supper,
I purchased some soft French sandwich rolls, then heated the fish separately, leaving the bread untoasted. I whipped up a little spicy mayo by mixing mayonnaise with a touch of hot sauce, relish, and a pinch of salt. Sliced cucumbers and crisp lettuce provided the garnish: since Suppenkuche served the fish with cucumber salad, I figured the flavor combo would work. Indeed, the hybrid German/Indiana/Louisiana schnitzel po'boy was delicious.
I've never had the pleasure of a pork tenderloin sandwich, be it homemade with nostalgia or purchased from a purveyor in Indiana, where the recipe originated. Someday, I hope to make it to the legendary Mug n Bun drive-in in Indianapolis.
Who wouldn't want to eat at a place called the Mug n Bun? Plus, you can wash down your Hoosier pork tenderloin with homemade root beer. For the uninitiated, Indiana's most famous sandwich involves a dinner plate-sized piece of pork, pounded, breaded, fried, and served on a bun that looks tiny by comparison. For more on its history, keep reading.
Nearly every region of the country has a sandwich that's a source of pride; in Indiana and Southern Illinois, it's the fried pork tenderloin, also called a Hoosier tenderloin in Indiana. In this fiercely local sandwich, the bun is mere garnish for a double-wide disc of breaded pork spilling over the sides.
The recipe originated in Huntington, IN, where Nick Frienstein first served breaded cutlets in 1908. The pounded-pork style remains remarkably unchanged, paying homage to the tradition of German Wiener schnitzel. Ringo Ronnie and his wife Linda, who hail from Streator, IL, recently got homesick for their hometown sandwich and whipped up a batch. Ringo recommends topping your 'loin with mustard, pickle, and onion. Check out the step-by-step photos below. (Want to share your own sandwich photos? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a description of what's on your sandwich.)