What is schnitzel? Well, if you’ve never been to Germany or Austria you may not be familiar with this meat dish. It is a flat, breaded and fried slice of pure goodness, one of my most favorite foods in the entire world. When I’m tired, worn out, sick of the usual work grind and I want a home-cooked, feel good meal, I always want schnitzel. About once a year, my mother used to make her version of Wiener Schnitzel, found no where in the entire world except her kitchen, and it became one of those meals that just feels like a hug from her. It’s that good!
You can use pretty much any type of meat for your schnitzel. I’ve seen turkey, chicken, pork, veal, and even ostrich schnitzels on the menu. If you’re going with a traditional Wiener Schnitzel then your talking veal. But the most common and popular schnitzel would have to be pork or Schweine Schnitzel and that’s our choice as well. The trick to a tender, juicy German schnitzel is not slicing the meat super thin but rather using a meat tenderizer (hammer or rolling pin) to pound the meat down to a 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. I’ve used a few different cuts over the years including boneless pork chops (several different cuts) pork steaks, and tenderloins. My favorite, for both tenderness, flavor, and consistency is the tenderloin.
My German Schnitzel Recipe
1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups bread crumbs
1 lemon, sliced thinly
Trim excess fat and silver-skin from the tenderloin, and then cut it into 4 equal pieces. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces.
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic and spread it out on a large dinner plate. Whisk the egg on a second large dinner plate. Spread out a thin layer of bread crumbs on the third plate.
Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet to around 325 degrees Fahrenheit so that the oil will be hot and ready for the breaded schnitzel (but be careful not to scorch the oil).
Dredge one of the schnitzels in the flour mixture, being sure to coat both sides evenly, and shake off excess flour. Transfer the floured schnitzel to the egg and coat both sides. Lay the egg washed schnitzel on the bread crumb bed and sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on top, pressing down gently to adhere the crumbs to the schnitzel.
Gently put the breaded schnitzel into the hot oil. Shake the pan carefully side-to-side while the schnitzel swims in the oil. Carefully flip the schnitzel after two or three minutes and continue frying for another two or three minutes (remember to shake the pan, side-to-side). Remove the schnitzel when it has a nice golden brown color. Repeat for the other three schnitzels.
For the crispiest German schnitzel, serve directly out of the frying pan after a short cool down on a paper towel. Otherwise, finish frying all of the schnitzel and keep them warm in a 225 F (100 C) oven while you finish off sauces or toppings.
Serve the schnitzel with a slice of lemon and side of fried potatoes.
That’s it, crispy and delicious German Schnitzel. What are some of your favorite recipes you’ve discovered on your travels?
More World Recipes
One of the main reasons we travel is to try different foods and tastes around the world. And when we get home we like to try and recreate some of those specialties that we enjoyed so much. In Turkey we fell in love with Borek and Kofte, in Lithuania it was a really scrumptious Apple Cake, in France we found a rich mushroom soup that has become an autumn favorite. Visit our World Recipes Index to find even more tasty dishes.