If there’s one thing that I’ve missed from living many years in Indiana, (besides fresh summer corn and juicy watermelon!), it’s been the gigantic fried pork tenderloin sandwiches (that are bigger than your entire head!), and fondly called “flying saucers”, as that’s what they kind of look like when placed on a little ole hamburger bun! So I set out to create a tender, juicy (but crispy on the outside), MUCH easier version. And though they still look like “alien space ships” with plenty of extra overhang, I scaled them down to mini-sized, and these Indiana Hoosier-Style Fried Pork Loin Slider Burgers REALLY hit the heart right in the spot!
My hubby had never had them before, and he’s STILL talking about them!! They exceeded my expectations, and were so much more fun to make, (not to mention easier to eat, too!)
Though I love them, I have come to realize that I cannot eat a sandwich twice the size of my head. (Though I’ve been hungry enough to think I can at times!) It just isn’t possible.
So these babies are not only a lunch and dinner fave that the whole family can handle, but also a fantastic party “slider” to boot!!
The original monster sandwiches originated in Indiana, and were first created by Nick’s Kitchen restaurant in the town of Huntington (near Fort Wayne), and to this day are still a heartwarming favorite! They can still be found on every diner menu and bowling alley special all across not only Indiana, but generally, the entire midwest!
Just about every “Hoosier” has had the pleasure of devouring one of these massive sandwiches, or at least has made a great effort to finish one! They’re still ever popular, usually still homemade by hand, and just as delicious as they ever were!
The original fried pork sandwiches are made from thinly pounded pork tenderloin, and are breaded and fried, (though some restaurants use a less pricy cut and make them from regular pork loin with good results), and very much resemble wiener schnitzel, only made from pork instead of veal.
But since I was thinking to just make sliders, I decided to marry two of my favorites. This childhood favorite, and my love for burgers! So I used ground pork with great success!!
And no noisy, tedious pounding! Not that I mind doing it, but when just making sliders, and nursing a massive headache…all that pounding did NOT sound like a very fun afternoon.
So. I thought to simply use a 1 1/2 pound package of ground pork, and I pressed and formed small balls of the tender meat onto sheets of waxed paper making ten of them! They were so easy to just make into very thin, 1/4 inch thick patties, that I ended up making two whole sheet pans of them using all of the meat!
I forgot to get a photo of them on the baking pans….because I’m an airhead.
But I’ll be sure to next time!
I peppered them, covered them with more waxed paper so that they wouldn’t dry out, and tossed them into the freezer!
While they were being frozen, I whipped up a very flavorful seasoned flour….
…and ground up some regular saltine crackers in the ole food processor until they were fine crumbs. Make sure that you take them all the way to fine crumbs, and not leave them in chunky pieces.
This will make a for a beautifully delicate and crunchy crust just like wiener schnitzel!
Once the patties were frozen solid, I dredged them into the seasoned flour first, then an egg bath of beaten eggs and buttermilk, and then completely coated them with the finely ground cracker crumbs.
I popped them back into the freezer, uncovered, while I heated up a nice big pan of oil.
Aren’t these looking pretty?!! And SO EASY to make!!!
I also seem to have forgotten to get a shot of all those gorgeous patties I made after frying them! My only excuse is, they move right along so very quickly, that I was just rocking it! (And I truly did have a pounding headache.) *sigh*. But I do promise to take more photos for you at a later date, because these little buggers ROCKED. OUT.
Once they were all fried, I sprayed and toasted the insides of the rolls…
…and placed a few patties on the bottoms.
THIS. Was going to be a killer-good lunch!!
I stuck with the traditional toppings that consist of simply just regular ole table mustard, such as what we all usually have in the fridge, all-American French’s, ….
….then very thinly sliced onion…..
….and some of my homemade Garlic Dill Pickle slices!!
Hey, if I’m going “homemade,” I’m all in as much as I can be! And like I always say, homemade is ALWAYS better!!
And these are easy-to-make, no-can, no-brainer, freaking awesome refrigerator pickles. So there’s no excuses. Yea, just make ’em! You’ll be SO glad that you did!
You can, if you want to go all out, spread the bottom buns with a little mayo, and add a little bit of lettuce and thin-sliced tomato to the top.
But to me, it just hides the wonderful and delicious simplicity of the truly amazing fried pork!
That delicately crispy outside……*sigh*!
The flavorful, juicy, tender inside…….*long sigh*!
I’m tellin’ ya…the next time I have a big package of ground pork, I’m going to make these patties up (with the coating and ready to fry), and keep some in the freezer to have on hand for a quick and easy lunch or supper anytime we want!
Be expecting to see a few variations on this classic soon, too!!! Though they’re kick-butt awesome just as is…I have a few ideas on how to take these down a whole ‘nother rabbit hole of deliciousness!
So, with New Year’s Eve parties, winter get-togethers, and tons of sporting events coming up, (including The Super Bowl!), you might want to make up a bunch of these too, and freeze them to have right on hand!
Then all you’ll have to do is just fry them, warm or toast the rolls, and dress these babies up however you and your guests or family might like!
SO easy and quick, that they’ll make for an awesomely fun and tasty slider for you, and all your friends and family in a snap!
And while you have the oil hot, fry up some onion rings and french fries for an easy side! Nothin’ better than homemade! And you can feed the whole hungry crowd on a super small budget and eat like there’s no tomorrow! Who doesn’t appreciate that right now?!!
So keep these Indiana Hoosier-Style Fried Pork Loin Slider Burgers in mind for whenever you want an utterly delicious classic, that’s smaller and easier to handle and eat, not to mention economical, and a whole heck of a lot easier to make, too!
Enjoy, and have a most wonderful and happy New Year!!! CHEERS to all!!
- 1½ lbs. ground pork, seasoned with pepper, formed into 10 thin 4 - 4½ inch round patties, ¼ inch thick, and frozen solid
- Bowl One:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbl. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. regular table salt
- 1 tsp. regular black pepper
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. celery salt
- ½ tsp. ground rosemary powder
- ½ tsp. dried dill weed
- ¼ tsp. dried basil
- ¼ tsp. dried sage
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. celery seeds
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne
- Bowl Two:
- 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup buttermilk, can sub regular milk or make homemade buttermilk*
- Bowl Three:
- 1 sleeve regular saltine crackers finely ground
- Rest of Ingredients Needed:
- (enough vegetable or canola oil for deep-frying)
- 10 slider rolls (I used King's Hawaiian), split open, buttered or sprayed on the inside & broiled until toasted
- Toppings to Choose From:
- dill pickle slices (I used my Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles)
- thinly sliced red onion
- Hot German, Spicy Brown, or regular table mustard (whatever kind you enjoy)
- iceberg lettuce leaves, (shredded, chopped, or whole leaf)
- thinly sliced roma tomatoes
- Make 10 balls out of ground pork and press out into 4 - 4½" round patties, ¼" thick, onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets, pepper each side nicely, cover with second sheet of wax paper, and freeze until frozen solid.
- In doubled brown paper lunch sacks, add "Bowl One" ingredients. Twist top closed and shake until well mixed. Dump ingredients into pie plate.
- In second pie plate (or medium-sized bowl larger than 4½ inches to fit patties), whisk eggs, whisk in buttermilk.
- In food processor, grind crackers until very fine crumbs. Dump into 3rd pie plate.
- Dredge each patty, one at a time, in flour (shake off excess), then coat well on each side with egg mixture (let excess drip off), then coat well with cracker crumbs pressing on. Place onto baking sheet and pop into the freezer (while oil heats up).
- In large deep frying pan, heat over medium heat, 1½ - 2 inches of vegetable or canola oil to deep fry.
- When oil is heated, turn down to medium/medium-low heat, and place 3 - 4 patties into oil to fry. Keep rest frozen. Fry each for 6 minutes or until deep golden, turning several times. Place onto baking rack placed over a baking sheet and keep hot in Low oven. (200 - 250º F.) Continue frying as many as you need. Any extra can be placed into a freezer bag with the waxed paper separating them, and fried at a later date. (Should keep well for several months in the freezer.)
- When done, split open rolls with a serrated knife, warm in microwave (or toast insides of rolls under broiler), place fried patties onto bottoms, drizzle with mustard, top with thinly sliced onion and 2 - 3 pickle slices.
- *Mayo can also be spread on bottoms buns, and lettuce and tomato can be added on top if desired.
- Enjoy with an ice cold beer, and fries or onion rings!