In Search Of A Hoosier Sandwich

February 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Sandwiches | 34 Comments
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The search led me to make these little Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sliders.

There ended up being so much food at our Super Bowl party that my halftime plans to serve Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sliders just didn’t happen. Instead I just threw the whole bag of marinating pork  (side note, spell check suggessted that I change this to urinating pork, I silently thanked them for their help and ignored the option) into the freezer, poured a glass of wine and watched The Who instead.   We just last night cooked these up and good grief are these good.

As you know, I served Muffaletta Sliders and wanted an Indiana-themed sandwich just in case we had Colts fans in the group. There was one, and sorry Tom that these sandwiches didn’t make an appearance.

It seems breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches are revered in Indiana so I hit the web running to find a recipe. I found several, each a little different. I just did what I thought sounded best. 

The original sandwiches are huge pieces of thick pork loin pounded to be about a half-inch thick, and coated with a coarse, crumbly, cracker crumb style breading that is golden brown and not overly crunchy. The meat is unbelievably tender, but still firm enough so you have to actually bite into it. Tradition dictates that the hunk of breaded and fried tenderloin extend well beyond the bun.

This is not my photo. Credit goes to Michael Stern of 

I purchased a pork tenderloin and just sliced the meat about 2 inches thick and pounded the little disks to tenderize and flatten. I placed all the slices into a Ziploc bag and poured in buttermilk to cover. The originator of these sandwiches puts some secret seasonings in, so I didn’t really know what to do, so grabbed the Tabasco bottle and added about 8 shakes.  All instructions said to marinate in refrigerator over night. 

I pulled out the slices of pork, salted and peppered and then coated the slices with Panko crumbs. I saw one recipe use a mixture of flour and corn meal, another did an additional coat of egg and then flour and another used saltines. I had Panko on hand.

Sautee until golden brown. Towards the end I placed a lid over the pan for about 30 seconds just to steam everything up a bit. 

Place on the slider buns. Top with a chunk of iceberg lettuce and mustard.  Since I was serving mini versions of this sandwich, I thought the pickle looked cute toothpicked on top of the bun. 

I’m telling you, these things are good. I’ll be making a full-sized version soon.  Anyone else ever had a Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich?



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  1. I’ve never had one but now I want one or some.

  2. Lea Ann, these looks delicious. There is something about ‘mini burgers’ that just taste good. Maybe because I feel that I can eat several.

    What a great use for pork tenderloins; especially leftover pieces. I am going to have to do these for an up-coming guest weekend lunch. Many thanks…

    • I agree George, and as always, and yes, I agree, great use for leftover pieces. Thanks for stopping by George.

  3. Oh man, those look awesome. Never heard of them before but I need to have it!

    • Yummy they are. Thanks for stopping by Bob

  4. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t concentrate much after urinating pork. Kept trying to figure out how they came up with that??

    • LOL Pam, thanks for stopping by

  5. LOL about the “urinating pork” . . . that would have stirred up some comments for sure. These sound so good – I love breaded steak sandwiches and these are very simular. Oh, and the little pickle stick on top is cute as can be. Hope you don’t mind if I steal your idea! 🙂

  6. Oh boy, urinated pork! 😉

    Great looking little sliders. I bet they did taste good.

    • LOL Chris, as always thanks for stopping by

  7. There are so many things you can do with sliders. I love ’em. Your Hoosier pork sliders look fabulous! There’s something about leaving them overnight in buttermilk. I do that with my fried chicken too. Maybe it helps hold the coating on or something. Yours are a little piece of heaven!

  8. Lea Ann, these look wonderful. I like these sliders!!! I like the idea that they are breaded and marinated. My kids would love them. Had you eaten these sliders at your Super Bowl gathering you would have probably missed out on how delicious these were because you would have had so many food options. These are perfect snack options, great for parties, great for dinner…These sandwiches work for everything!

    • Thanks Velva. And now that you mention it, I think you’re right. They may have been abit overlooked by halftime. With all of the other food and activities (beer and wine). As always thanks for stopping by.

  9. Thank you so much for a good laugh! Love the marinade too… I’ll have to try it as soon as possible.

    • I’m telling you, that buttermilk and pork tenderloin are a match made in heaven.

  10. You take fantastic pictures, I need some lessons! I love sliders. They are always a big hit, aren’t they!

    • Thanks Kristi. I just have a little point and shoot camera. I wish I could do better with my photos.

  11. LOL at urinating pork! Love the ratio of the pork to bread-just the way I like it Lea Ann! 😉

    • Thanks for stopping by Lorraine

  12. Mmmm. Who’s yer sandwich?

  13. Reminded me of schnitzel or a pork cutlet.. I’ve never heard of an Indiana sandwich…Looks good!

    • I agree Buff. As always, thanks for stopping by

  14. Popped in to say hi! Your muffaleta sliders sound intriguing! And that pork sandwich looks great!

  15. I have never had a Hoosier sandwich. It looks great! Thanks for sharing. I wish I had one right now – I need a snack at work!

  16. Never heard of them up here in the Great White North, but that looks like an excellent use of pork tenderloin! Delicious.

    • My boyfriend in High Schools mother used to make these She obviously had some Indiana connections. I’ve not had them since until now.

  17. Did I tell you I made fried pork tato skins for the Superbowl? They love their fried pork over there.

    • Man does that sounds wonderfully sinful. Thanks for stopping by Cathy

  18. I was born and raised in Huntington, IN which is the Home of Nick’s Kitchen which is recognized as the origin of the Breaded Tenderloin.

    Breaded Tenderloins are Deep Fat Fried crisp not “steamed” and I’ve NEVER had Tabasco on ANY of the hundreds of Tenderloins I have eaten.

    To make a full size sandwich cut the meat into 4″ – 5″ and butterfly it then pound it out until around 1/4″ thick.

    Roll them in Flour, Marinate them in Buttermilk in the refrigerator overnight, dip them in Egg and roll them in Cracker Crumbs. Thats is the Huntington Way!! Serve with Pickle, Onion and Mustard. I always add Ketchup too.

    • I’m sure glad to see an expert emerge. I read a little about Nick’s before I posted that so do know a bit of the history.

      Even though I steamed for a few seconds, the sandwich was still crispy and WONderful. I wish I had a deep fat fryer, so had to make due with a skillet.

      And now for the tobasco. I only threw it in because I couldn’t find any seasoning directions. I’d love your suggestion in that arena. The tobacco was hardly noticeable.

      And one of these days I’m going to try that full sized sandwich and do that butterfly trick, and I can’t wait. These things are so yummy.

      I am so glad you stopped by. I’d love to visit Nicks and have the real thing.

      Thanks Jim.

  19. I just did a blog on breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches, I haven’t found a person since leaving the Midwest that knows what a tenderloin sandwich is… I made them as I had seen them made as a child and they turned out perfect and were a hit. I did ask my Mom and she said the only way she knew they made them was with the cracker crumbs. I like mine with mustard and pickles… You will have to check out my blog and see how mine turned out, let me know what you think….RaeDi

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