RECIPE: Vienese-style Schnitzel (Gluten-free included)
Preparing German food for my family is a delight of mine. My mother traveled with her military family, both as a child and as a newlywed. One of her vivid memories as a girl was eating schnitzel from a street vendor in Germany. She said he folded the schnitzel in half and handed it to her wrapped in paper, just like you might get a hotdog here in the States. Sadly, my mother was not a cook to never recreate the dish, but I am . . . and so are my kids. We all love to travel, cook and equally love to eat the foods from all the lands we visit.
Many years ago, I decided to recreate my mother’s Austrian/German experience by making my own schnitzel. It was, and still is, a hit with the family– so much that they all make it in their own homes now that they are grown. So, raise your steins and dig into making schnitzel! Warm German Potato Salad, German Cucumber Salad, and pumpernickel bread (not very often homemade) are all part of this wonderful meal. Please pass me the butter.
A TIPS/TRICKS on this one is to use gluten-free bread crumbs. Remember to substitute the flour with cornstarch to make it truly gluten-free.
- Deep skillet/dutch oven with spatter screen
- Fork or tongs for turning meat in hot oil
- Cutting boards/mats (one red mat for pounding pork, one green for cutting lemons)
- Carving knife
- Meat mallet
- Chef/paring knife
- 2 Pie pans for dredging
- Dry measuring cup
- Whisk or fork for eggs
- Holding plate for coated pork
- Separate oven-safe, serving plate for draining cooked schnitzel (paper towels or screen for draining)
- Serving bowl and fork for lemons
AUSTRIAN SCHNITZEL RECIPE (Gluten-free included)
TIPS/TRICKS 1: For gluten-free version, use gluten-free bread crumbs and cornstarch to replace the regular bread crumbs and all-purpose flour.
NOTE: Pre-measure all ingredients, if possible.
1 lb. boneless Pork Loin (sliced to approx 3/8″ thick)
2 eggs, beaten (additional eggs may be needed if pork is pounded very thin, aka more surface area)
0.5 (1/2) Cup All-purpose flour (cornstarch for gluten-free)
2 Cups Dried Bread Crumbs (Panko works very well, or gluten-free bread crumbs)
2 Cups Canola Oil (for frying) – have not tried an air fryer for this yet
Salt and pepper, as desired
Fresh lemon, cut into thick wedges
Slice cold/slightly frozen pork to desired thickness. Using a meat mallet, pound the pork slices as thin as desired (1/4″ thick quickly fries). Place on holding plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bread and fry.
Cut lemons into thick wedges for squeezing onto cooked schnitzel. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then place on table for individuals to add as desired.
Pour canola oil into deep frying pan skillet. Oil should be deep enough for pork to float, not just pan fry. Pork is fried as a single layer in the pan, so 2″ deep is usually sufficient. Wait to heat until Step 8.
Crack eggs into first pie pan and thoroughly whisk until well blended. Set aside.
In second pie pan, pour flour/cornstarch into pan, then coat each pork slice on each side placing pork back on holding plate for dredging step. When pork is coated, discard remaining flour/cornstarch as it has raw pork exposure.
Using second pie pan again, add bread crumbs and salt/pepper (if desired). Blend with a fork.
Dredge flour-coated pork pieces on both sides in egg wash, then bread crumbs. Restack on holding plate; it is ready to fry.
Heat oil to 350 degrees or until small amount of bread crumb mixture sizzles when added to hot oil. Preheat oven/toaster over to warm (lowest temperature) to hold cooked schnitzel.
When oil is up to temperature, use a fork to begin laying pieces of pork in a single layer of frying pan. A spatter screen will help protect hands and stovetop from popping oil. Before turning, fry pork pieces until deep golden brown. (Pork needs to be thoroughly cooked.) Using tongs, turn and fry the other side. When cooked, use tongs to remove and place to drain on serving plate. Keep cooked schnitzel in oven/toaster oven to keep warm while next batch is prepared.
When all schnitzel is fried, turn off stove and let oil completely cool during dinner. Serve schnitzel with a squeeze of lemon and desired side dishes. Enjoy!