Jancey Smith of Princeton, Ind., will tell you that fried pork tenderloin is a staple dish among people in her state. Indiana residents know they can rely on this crispy, tender meat to appease appetites of all sizes.
What’s less popularly known, however, is that fried pork tenderloin is derived from the Weiner Schnitzel. Popular in many countries and cultures, Weiner Schnitzel is most commonly found in Austria, Germany, and Poland. With boneless, thinned meat and a crispy, breaded, exterior, the Weiner Schnitzel can be made of veal, chicken, beef, turkey or even pork.
An accomplished home cook, Smith always creates a hearty home cooked meal that is cost effective, quick to prepare and above all, delicious. Here, her take on pork tenderloin varies from the traditional roasting method of preparation. Breaded in crushed saltine crackers, which yields a salty, crispy crunch, these fried pork tenderloins are sheer perfection placed between a couple slices of bread, or on a big, fluffy bulky roll.
The key to this recipe, Smith says, rests in the flattening of the pork tenderloin.
Thinning the pork to about a quarter-inch thick allows the saltines to give it a nice hearty crunch. As a bonus, these thin slices of meat will cut your overall cooking time to a mere six minutes or less on the stovetop.
2 pounds pork tenderloin
2 cups buttermilk
2 whole eggs
2 sleeves saltine crackers
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons oil (to coat pan)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the tenderloin. Using a kitchen mallet or meat tenderizer, flatten to ¼-inch thick.
Create the marinade by whisking together eggs, milk, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl.
Add pork to the marinade, and let sit in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour. In a large freezer bag, crush the saltine crackers.
Smith recommends a thin, mealy texture, but feel free to experiment with leaving larger chunks. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
Remove pork form marinade, dredge, or coat the pork with a thin layer of flour.
Dip pork in marinade again and coat with the crushed saltine cracker.
Fry in the large skillet for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve hot on sandwich bread or buns.