In California, we have a lot of Der Wienerschnitzel Chains.
It makes me chuckle, because there is no connection between hot dogs and Wiener Schnitzel that is a popular dish found on most restaurant menus in Germany and Austria.
"Wien" is the Europea spelling of "Vienna" and that is where this dish is said to have originated.
A true Wiener Schnitzel is made with thinly pounded veal, breaded and cooked in oil. If cooked correctly, it's golden and crispy on the outside (never greasy) and garnished with a lemon wedge. This is what I'm used to having served to me when I visit my family in Bavaria:
I recently saw someone had posted their version of Wienerschnitzel, breaded in panko crumbs. Brilliant! While that isn't authentic, I liked the idea of the crunch it must've given the meat.
I love veal. I especially love milk fed veal. Or, I should say-- I used to eat milk fed veal, until I learned how they are raised-- these adorable babies live a very cruel an inhumane short life. I am a carnivore, but I have my boundaries on how animals are treated. If the source of my veal comes range-free, then I'll buy it. But it is expensive.
I've, since, switched to making my schnitzel with either chicken breasts or pork. Pork is my favorite way.
Schnitzel is really quite simple to make.
You will want to buy either chicken breasts, pork or veal. I buy pork tenderloin because schnitzel cooks fast. You don't want tough meat, or it will be chewy and that's not very pleasant.
The night that I made this schnitzel, I was in a hurry and I wanted a short cut. I saw that my butcher had some pork that had been tenderized. I hesitated... at $4.99 a pound I wasn't so sure I should go for it. I just didn't feel like cutting a pork tenderloin and pounding it, and these were cut just right. It turned out great!
You'll need a pan of flour, seasoned with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper.
2-3 eggs, whisked in separate pan
Bread crumbs (I make my own)
A heavy bottomed pan that can take high heat
I don't buy bread crumbs anymore. We eat bread, but I don't eat a lot of it (not by choice, trust me). I just toss stale bread slices into my Cuisinart (which is now 30 years old and still going strong!) This is actually whole wheat bread, and it works out great.
My oven is preheated to 250F, and I spread the crumbs on parchment paper onto a baking sheet for about an hour. Then I cool the crumbs so that they don't get soggy from the egg bath. I store any unused bread crumbs in an air tight container. Why buy it?
To prepare your meat, cover it with saran wrap and pound till thin (again, these cuts of meats are thicker than I'd normally use, but I was lazy and hungry).
Dip the meat, first, in flour, then in the egg, then coat with bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)
Allow the prepared meat to dry-- seriously, I get better browning when it's not so wet.
Heat your oil, until shimmering and cook for just 2-3 minutes per side. You want them golden brown.
Depending on how thin your cutlets are (these are thicker than usual) cook them for 3-5 minutes per side on medium high heat:
Lawsy, this makes my mouth water!
Garnish with a lemon wedge and parsley.
Pardon me, but I have to take a bite full. Dee-lish!
Great side dishes are mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes (any kind of potatoe), spaetzle or buttered noodles. In my kitchen, red cabbage is a "given" when I make this dish. We love it!
By the way, I refrigerated a few of the uncooked, prepared pork schnitzel and it cooked up beautifully the next day.
This is far better than a hot dog and impressive for company, too.
Thank you for allowing me to share my love of German food, handed down to me from my mother. I can hardly wait to return to her Homeland so that I can enjoy all the wonderful food, scenery, beer and wonderful Bavarian sense of humor.
All three recipes are below in printable version: