Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches are one of those affordable, minimally healthful yet hugely flavorful meals that I love.
I bought 4 pork tenderloin chops, $3.33.
I got hamburger buns for $.50.
2 eggs (let’s see, 18 eggs were $1.88, so 2 eggs cost $.21).
1 cup of milk, $.25.
2 cups of Panko crumbs $1.50.
Canola oil, salt and pepper…let’s just say $.25 for all of that.
Total cost for this dish = $6.04 and will easily feed 4 people.
I wanted to show you the cost because it is truly affordable. I made oven baked french fries with it as well which I’ll share with you tomorrow. Feeding 4 folks for under $10 is an accomplishment these days, and this is really delicious. So let’s get started.
This is the size of an individual chop. We’re going to be making this much, much thinner. To save yourself a little effort, ask your butcher to run this through the tenderizing machine. I happen to buy these at WalMart where there is no butcher…so all the work was left to me.
What is this you ask? Well…that is my meat tenderizer. If you have a meat mallet, I highly recommend that you use that instead. But somehow my mallet is missing. My husband finds creative uses for my kitchen tools, so there’s no telling what the mallet was used to do. Perhaps hang a picture? Maybe he used it to fix a piece of his military gear? Who knows…all I know is I don’t have a mallet anymore.
I’ve read using a can of vegetables would be a good substitute. But I don’t like that because the edges of the can rip the meat. Perhaps using a glass jar filled with water seems like a disaster waiting to happen, but for all the times I’ve done this I’ve never broken a jar. I’m not suggesting that you do this, I’m just showing you my homegrown solution to a missing meat mallet.
Getting the meat really thin is important, this makes it tender and easy to eat in a sandwich. Since I plan to fry the meat it also helps it cook quickly which is a priority for this impatient cook.
I put the tenderloin in a plastic bag before pounding it out. For me, this is easier than 2 pieces of plastic wrap. The plastic bag is stronger, easier to use for multiple chops, and it’s less messy.
One word of warning – As you attempt to get the meat as thin as possible, try not to rip through the chop. If it’s thin enough to see the counter beneath, that’s fine. But ripping it too much can make it a mess.
Next step is an egg wash. I just mix 1 cup of milk and 2 eggs. After the tenderloin is pounded really thin, dip it in the egg wash, make sure to coat all surfaces.
I’m weird about getting my hands all icky, so I just use a fork to swish the tenderloin around in the egg wash, then lift the chop to place it in the panko crumbs.
Again, I use a plastic bag for the Panko. It’s neat and tidy, but it would work just the same if you prefer using a plate to bread your chops. But then you have another plate to wash, just sayin’… Do what you want, but my way is better. ha.
In the crumbs add a bit of salt and pepper, shake to mix. Then place tenderloin coated with egg wash directly in the crumbs. Shake the crumbs all over the chop, covering well.
This puppy is ready to fry up!
Yes! I said fry! Come on…we don’t do it enough anymore. But don’t worry, if you can’t bring yourself to fry I have options for you.
But why would you want to do anything other than fry these tenderloins? Using canola or vegetable oil, bring 1/2″ of oil to medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping a bit of panko to see if it instantly sizzles. If it doesn’t, the oil is not hot enough.
The advantage of having the oil hot prior to putting your meat in is that the meat will not absorb the cold oil. When it is hot enough to fry (fry, not burn), it instantly starts cooking so your tenderloins are crispy rather than greasy.
Each side only takes 2-3 minutes, so we are talking 5 minutes total cooking time.
Place the meat on paper towels to absorb any oil, keeping your tenderloins crispy and delicious.
Now…for those of you who can’t bring yourself to fry…I have also baked these before which is also good. In a 350 degree oven, cook the tenderloins for 10-15 minutes or until meat is completely cooked. The panko will still be crispy, the meat is not quite as tender but it is definitely a good alternative and it is still delicious.
Toasting the buns is a must! Then cut the tenderloin in half and dress it up the way you like.
We all have our own way of preparing our sandwiches. I like a single layer of tenderloin, sometimes I put a dill pickle, and I dip it in ketchup. My hubby likes a double stack of meat, mayo and tomato. My dad likes mayo, tomato and lettuce. The options are endless and delicious.
Hope you enjoy!
Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
4 pork tenderloins
1 cup milk
2 cups panko or cracker meal
1/4 cup canola oil
Pound tenderloins very thin without ripping meat. You should be able to almost see through the chop.
Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 cup milk.
In a separate dish, mix 2 cups panko crumbs with healthy amount of salt and pepper.
Place pounded tenderloin in egg wash, coating well.
After coating with egg wash, move tenderloin to panko crumbs to cover entire tenderloin with crumbs.
Heat 1/4 cup canola oil to medium-high heat. Once oil is heated (test by dropping piece of panko in oil, if it instantly sizzles oil is heated properly. If it burns instantly, it’s too hot), add tenderloins and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Drain meat on paper towels, then serve on toasted sandwich bun with desired condiments.
*If choosing to bake rather than fry, after coating with panko, place tenderloins on oven-safe pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until meat is completely cooked.