Aaand Welcome back! It has been a cold start to winter. Absolutely freezing. I can’t imagine what full-blown winter will actually be like. The cold cast my mind to the Bavarian Alps. I’m a skier and my favorite part of skiing (other than the skiing itself) is coming back home to a nice warm dish and a cup of cider. This evening that warm dish is Pork Schnitzel, and boy did that go well after coming back inside today (it isn’t yet cold enough to ski, it’s just cold).
You’ll love today’s recipe, a German buddy taught me how to make it. It’s truly genuinely German in every way.
I love schnitzel. I can’t begin to explain how blown my mind was when I realized that schnitzel meant cutlet in German! Holy smoke! I read that and then my eyes were opened to the world of cutlets. Truth be told, I never understood why there were so many schnitzels until then. I had always thought that it was just a word to describe the type of meat used?! (Yeah, looking back it doesn’t make sense to me either…) Considering that, Wiener Schnitzel makes a lot more sense suddenly. Maybe I’m wrong but Wiener may mean veal. (Give me a second to google it… Googling done. Results: I was absolutely wrong. Apparently, it means Viennese. Which makes sense since Wiener Schnitzel is Austrian. In reality, Wiener Schnitzel is just an Austrian cutlet. Cool! Right? I’m blown away, and this little note has run for a couple lines now.)
As my friend said, “pork is traditional but we also use chicken.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that today we’re going to be making (and eating) a delicious, crisp, and mouth-watering traditional German schnitzel. Can’t take the credit for it myself so here’s to you ol’ buddy o’ mine! In the future, I hope to make some of the other schnitzels with their classic sauces. Today we’ll top ours off with a dash of lemon juice to bring out the pork flavor and to provide you with a little bit of contrast between the bread and the meat.
Now that’s a dish perfect for this time of year. The more you eat German foods the more you understand the culture, in my opinion. I really believe that about every culture. I feel that the food represents a culmination of the culture’s history. But more on that later. Now let’s follow the example of the title and get to the pork schnitzel!
Pork schnitzel is an extremely easy dish to make. It’ll only take you a few minutes to prepare. It’s not exactly cheap (unless you make the breadcrumbs yourself which isn’t too difficult) but it is well worth the cost. I’d say you might be able to make the dish for under $5 for four – I would eat this with something else, not by itself. Traditionally schnitzel is eaten with French fries in some form (steak cut, potato wedges, etc) or mashed potatoes.
Step 0: Put some oil in a pan and heat it up on the stove. I know it’s not traditional by any means, but I love olive oil and coconut oil. I’m going to use coconut oil to fry the schnitzel. I like the flavor and they say it is a healthy oil to use.
To start you’ll need to get a boneless pork chop or tenderloin that’s been cut thinly. Next, you’ll need a smattering of these remaining ingredients: flour, breadcrumbs, oil, salt, and pepper to taste – and don’t forget the lemon which we’ll use after!
Classically, the pork is pounded thin. We want a thin meat because when we put the pork in the pan to fry we want it to fry quickly. If it stays in the pan too long it will burn, which then ruins both the current cutlet, the oil, and adds a slightly burned flavor to the remaining cutlets. So, take out your pork and pound it thin. To keep my nice fancy rolling pin clean, I covered both sides of the meat in plastic wrap. With a few well-placed blows later you’ll have nice thin meat. You want your meat to be about 1/4 inch (or 0.5 cm) thick.
Next, we’re going to coat both sides of the meat in flour. We want the entire thing to have a nice thin layer of flour all around it. I find it easiest to put the flour on a plate and cover it with flour. By pressing the flour a little you can ensure that the flour will adhere to the meat.
Beat some eggs together. I’m sorry to say I can’t tell you exactly how many, but it depends on the quantity of schnitzel you want to make. I made 4 small cutlets and so I used about three eggs (though I did have left over, but better left over than not enough when it comes to cutlets). Take the meat and bathe it in the beaten egg. We want the egg to completely cover the pork (just like we did with the flour).
Pick up the eggy pork and place it in the breadcrumbs. Just as before, we want the breadcrumbs to stick to every part of the pork. Give it a nice coating by pouring breadcrumbs on top and pressing the crumbs into the meat.
Our pork schnitzel is almost ready! By now, our pan of oil should be hot. We can easily test the temperature with an old-fashioned method (we’ll keep those fancy thermometers away for another time). Take one of your pork schnitzels and slowly dip one corner into the oil. If the oil is hot enough to fry you’ll immediately see bubbles forming around the meat. (Not to mention you’ll hear a wash of popping sounds which is exactly what you’ll hear when you fry anything.) If the oil is hot enough then lower the meat into the pan. Don’t drop it! Hot oil on your skin does not feel good. Trust me on that one.
You need to watch the meat carefully here. When the sides begin to crisp, you need to flip the meat and let the other side cook. When it’s ready both sides will be a nice golden brown.
Ah, you can taste it already, can’t you! Now that it’s ready put it on a plate and let the remaining oil drip away. (I placed them on a paper towel to absorb the oil. A bit faster and it guarantees that the pork schnitzel won’t reabsorb the oil as it sits on the plate.) Since we didn’t make any sauces today, you should cut a lemon into pieces. When you serve the schnitzel, place a piece of lemon with each one. (I would cut wedges, I wouldn’t pass around slices the size of the ones in the picture beneath this text.)
And that’s a classic, truly authentic, flavorful German pork schnitzel. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or thoughts.