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Crispy Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

I guess this is a specialty in Iowa/Illinois. Anyways, I was going to try my hand at it tonight and need help. I could have sworn within the last month or so I read something on this board about these sandwiches, which linked to a blog belonging to someone who had posted pics and tips of all the variations he has made. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? TIA for any help on this crazy question! Also would appreciate any tips or recipes from those who have had the real deal.

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  1. I think it's called Schnitzel. I don't have a recipe, but I've ordered the schnitzel sandwich at Magnolia's and it sounds like what you are describing.

    1. I know what you're talking about from having lived in Indiana. They are crazy about these things. THe bar I worked in had packages of them frozen, but my understanding is that it's a slice of pork tenderloin, pounded really thin and huge, breaded with cracker crumbs and deep fried. Pu on a bun half the size of the tenderloin, top with mayo, lettuce, tomato. I remember that Bobby Flay on one of his shows actually made these...the show where he goes from state to state finding out what the specialties of that state are...personally I hate these things, but good luck and I'd love to know how it turns out, for nostalgia's sake.

      2 Replies
      1. re: prunefeet

        NFR - just had to chime in on your id....I laughed out loud when I saw it! "Prunefeet" is by far and away the best id I've ever seen online. It really tickled my funny bone!!

      2. I love pork tenderloins! I grew up in Iowa and it is the one thing I want to eat when I go back for a visit. I have never found them anywhere I have lived since leaving the state (Minneapolis, St. Louis, KC and now NYC).

        1. Thanks for the help! I will definitely post a pic with my result. And I just found that website too - fans of this Midwestern specialty should definitely enjoy this! I'll link below. I did notice he says for best results, to marinate overnight in buttermilk. Obviously too late for that - but I just pounded them (though unfortunately maybe too thin) and threw them in the refrigerator so they can marinate for at least 4-5 hours..

          PURSUING PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICHS
          http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/P...

          1. prunefeet got the basics down, but there are a few things I'd like to add:

            1. Purists eat them with only onion, pickles & mustard.
            2. Serve it on a hamburger bun.
            3. Proper tenderloins are about 2-3 times the size of the bun.

            Frankly, I think you could get really creative with the tenderloin, maybe adding some parmesan into your breading, serving it on an onion roll with a zesty aioli, etc. You get the idea. Remember, since the meat is so thin, it won't take long to cook it up -- if you fry it for too long, you might as well shingle the house with it, it will be so dry.

            Good luck! I just had a tenderloin at Joensy's in Center Point, IA last weekend. Certainly not gourmet fare, but solid food and the joint was hoppin!

            12 Replies
            1. re: Big Al

              Exactly! I didn't know about the onion, pickle mustard thing, never saw that in Anderson, IN, and we served a lot of these things. Yes, it should hang WAY over the bun, to the point where you are not sure how to tackle it. Lol.

              1. re: Big Al

                Joensy's! Haven't been since graduate school 15 years ago, and I'm so glad it's still there.

                To duplicate the perfection of the pork tenderloin outside Iowa you'd have to spring for some really good pork. The pork quality routinely available there is far higher than what's routinely available elsewhere -- at least in Massachusetts. Is it a matter of freshness? Don't know.

                1. re: Tatania

                  Grew up in Cedar Rapids...Have not lived there for 25 years.....Have made it back several times, last time I was in Solon Joensy's was closed.....Anybody know if it has re-opened.......They had the best and biggest tenderloins in the world.........Live in Colorado now...Pretty tough to find a tenderloin here, let alone one that even comes close to Joensy's.....

                2. re: Big Al

                  "Purists eat them with only onion, pickles & mustard."

                  NO!!! Lettuce, tomato, and mayo. This is the purist's choice of toppings! I am from Indiana (a state that should have been mentioned in the OP); where are you from, sir? I feel as though I've caught a spy in Russia because he liked his vodka at the wrong temperature! HA.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    When you add lettuce,tomato, and mayo(?), it requires a new name.
                    A pork tenderloin has condiments on it, not various fruits and vegetables.

                    1. re: Bobfrmia

                      That's just the Indiana tradition. I just report it, I don't DO it! Ha.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Another Hoosier here -- Sandy's right - in Indiana, it's lettuce,tomato, and mayo -- and I would not suggest telling anybody in Indiana that it's NOT a pork tenderloin.

                        Different regions, different traditions. The fact that it's not what YOU have experienced doesn't make it wrong -- just different.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          While WRONG never appeared in my post, it is a regional thing I guess. In all the years of posting about tenderloins here, I never heard that was the standard in Indiana. Normally we just argue about where it was started.

                    2. re: sandylc

                      You crazy Hoosiers -- who ever heard of lettuce, tomato & mayo on a tenderloin!?

                      ; )

                      1. re: Big Al

                        Hey, who you callin' a Hoosier? (I moved away thirty-something years ago)

                        1. re: sandylc

                          so did I -- but I was born there, so I'm still a Hoosier by birth, no matter where I live now.