Ah, the famous Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin. It seems like every local restaurant has its own version. The Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin recipe is almost always coated with a seasoned breading and is deep fried. However, it can also be marinated and grilled, sans breading!
In 1908, Nick Freienstein, from Nick’s Kitchen located in Huntington, Indiana, invented a version of wiener schnitzel that was deep fried and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Nick took a piece of pork loin (a boneless pork chop), ran it though a mechanical tenderizer and marinated it overnight in a mixture of egg, buttermilk and flour. The next morning, he dipped it in cracker crumbs, deep fried it and served it fresh. This was where the Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin was born. Nick’s is still in business, and they make their Hoosier Breaded Tenderloins the same way they did 113 years ago, recognized by many as the best in the state. After Nick’s Kitchen began serving this amazing and innovative dish, many local restaurants made their own version of Hoosier Breaded Tenderloins. Now, this classic Indiana dish is spreading to Illinois, Iowa and other surrounding states. While they have their own remedies to make it their own recipe, nothing compares to a classic Indiana Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin.
Hungry for one of these iconic pork productions? Well, you’re in luck, because both Muldoon’s and Dooley O’Toole’s are famous for their versions of this Hoosier classic. We’ve provided the pork for both restaurants for years and have fabricated tens of thousands of these classic tenderloins during our history… but we’re not giving away any trade secrets. Both recipes are tasty, with the Muldoon’s Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin being encased in crunchy and salty deep-fried goodness. Dooley’s version is breaded lightly, leaning towards a rich cornmeal texture. We highly recommend you try both as they are uniquely delicious!
Do you want to try your own hand at making history? No problem! You have a few choices at Joe’s.
Let’s start with a pork cutlet out of our case. What exactly is a pork cutlet, you ask? It’s a piece of boneless pork chop that has been run through our tenderizer twice.
- Lay out wax paper and place the tenderloin on top. Pat dry on both sides with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the tenderloin with another sheet of wax paper and hand press out or pound with a meat mallet to your desired width and thinness.
- Next, beat a couple of eggs in a bowl and set out two extra bowls—one with flour and the other with bread or cracker crumbs (we recommend panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunch).
- Using the famous wet-hand-dry-hand method, use your left hand to dip the pork into the flour, shake off any excess and drop the pork into the egg mixture. Make sure to keep that hand egg-free.
- Using your right hand, pull the pork from the egg mixture, shake off any excess, drop the pork into the breadcrumb bowl, coat with breadcrumbs and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Sidenote: after you’ve breaded your pork, toss your ingredients, as you will have raw egg in your breadcrumbs.
- For the cooking part, you have 3 choices. Shallow pan fry in ¼ in. of canola oil, deep fry or simply pop your tenderloin in the oven to bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. If you fry, aim for the coating to be golden, not brown—your tenderloin is done when that golden color is achieved.
If you want to use a real pork tenderloin instead of a pork loin for your breaded sandwich, tell one of our butchers and we’ll provide you with a pre-breaded tenderloin cut. They tend to be more tender this way but won’t possess the same chew or flavor that a cut of pork loin would normally have.
- Purchase a pre-breaded tenderloin from our case.
- Fry in a pan of shallow oil until it turns a nice golden color—this should only take about 3 minutes if your oil is hot.
- Viola! Your Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin is ready to eat!
We purchase our breaded tenderloins from a partner in Illinois who makes them from real pork tenderloin (not loin) and bread them in cracker crumbs. They are pounded very thin, so be sure to keep an eye on the cook time to ensure you don’t end up with a dry piece of pork.
Here at Joe’s, we are happy to contribute to the local history of the Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin. Next time you’re craving a taste of this tenderloin treat, stop by Joe’s and we’ll set you up for savory success. Not up for making your own? Dooley O’Toole’s and Muldoon’s carry our farm fresh meats and will serve you up a delicious Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin with their own special twists.