Snacks to beer

Snacks to beer #5: schnitzel Wiener art


Schnitzels are a real guilty pleasure of ours. Boak likes one or two a year; Bailey would eat them every night, if he could.

They’re pretty cheap and easy to make, although they’re not good for you, and do generate a lot of washing up. This recipe has been tweaked to reduce the amount of butter used and, we think, make the schnitzels crisper and less greasy than some of the oily, orange slabs you get served in German pubs.

A couple of notes:

1. We use pork rather than veal. If you use veal, you’ve got a bona fide Wiener schnitzel. German pubs tend to go for pork because it’s cheaper and describe them as ‘in the Vienna style’.

2. The origin of the schnitzel is disputed but we like the theory that it comes from Austria’s near-neighbour, Italy. Certainly, your best bet for finding a decent schnitzel in the UK is to go to an Italian restaurant and order a Cotoletta alla Milanese.

3. That’s what schnitzel means, by the way — cutlet.

Recipe after the jump.

Ingredients (for two)

  1. Two pork chops or pork fillets
  2. Half a loaf of bread, for crumbs
  3. One egg
  4. 100g flour
  5. Salt, black pepper and paprika
  6. 50g of cold (firm) butter
  7. A lemon or lime
  8. A bloody great big hammer or rolling pin

Making a schnitzel

  1. You want only the ‘medallion’ from the centre of your pork chop, with no straggling bits or bones, so trim them that way. You can leave the fat on if you like, as long as you remove any skin or rind.
  2. When they’re neat and tidy, take your knife and butterfly the meat, cutting most of the way through from one long side to the other until both steaks fold open fairly neatly.
  3. Cover each in cling film and batter them with your hammer. This is quite good fun. Don’t go too mad or they’ll fall apart. They should end up about twice as big as when you started.
  4. Arrange three plates with, in this order, flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs. Take each piece of meat and coat them in flour; then dip them in the egg, making sure they pick plenty up; finally, press them into the breadcrumbs quite firmly, making sure that they are properly crusted.
  5. Grease a large roasting tin. Put two slices of butter on the bottom, one for each schnitzel. Put the schnitzels on top and then put the remaining butter in as many slices as you can manage over the top. The butter is there for a bit of flavour and to help the breadcrumbs brown — if you’re not worried about your heart, chuck on as much as you like.
  6. Put the tin in a pre-heated over at around 160-180 centigrade for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown, turning once after about 15 minutes.
  7. Dish them up and put a wedge of lemon on top, and serve with a side salad if you’ve got the crazy idea that pork does not, on its own, constitute a meal.
  8. You’ll want a German beer with it.

11 replies on “Snacks to beer #5: schnitzel Wiener art”

The ultimate comfort food… I usually fry them in a pan with half/half butter/olive oil. I think the result is probably about the same.

I’ve made schnitzel a few times (well, one does these things to try to fit in). The recipes I used said to shallow fry them in sunflower oil, and plenty of it so that the breadcrumbs stay a bit “fluffy”. I was quite pleased with my second attempt; nice and tender, and not too oily. Otherwise, exactly as you describe.

I have this Bayerische Küche book my mother-in-law gave me (she’s not Bavarian, I hasten to add) and even as a confirmed carnivore, I’m not sure I could handle some of the meat-fests in that book, or the “tempting” names of some of them. 😀

Barry — what’s that show on German TV where they show 2 or 3 restaurants getting ready for evening service? It’s a sort of fly-on-the-wall documentary thing — “It’s 2pm and Volker’s just started butterflying and hammering 200 pork fillets, as he does every afternoon.” Anyways, they’re always showing people making schnitzel and the pros do seem to fry it, usually in shitloads of butter, so my oven baked approach is total sacrilege.

A ?ízek as they call it here, milanesa as we call it in Argentina…

There we have an even more decadent version, when the thing is fried, put a couple of thin slices of ham, then on top of that tomato sauce and then cheese, the same you would use for a pizza and put it in the oven until the cheese melts….

Bugger! I haven’t eaten that in 7 and a half years!!! I know what I’m cooking this weekend!!!!

I was in Berlin with an international group last year, and we went to a fairly decent restaurant for dinner. The food options were schnitzel or fish.
My Austrian colleague mumbled that the Germans usually were cheating, and asked the waiter if this was a proper Wiener Schnitzel or just done the Viennese way. The frosty response was that it was veal…

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