Schnitzel So Damn Good
Germans love Wiener-Schnitzel and so do I. Presented by Chef Uwe, this classic recipe will have your tastebuds doing the happy dance. Follow along as Chef Uwe shows you how to prepare this culinary delight.
- Allow at least one quarter (1/4) pound schnitzel per person.
- The Classic “traditional” Wiener Schnitzel uses Veal. However, you may substitute with pork (sometimes referred to in Germany as Schweine-Schnitzel nach Wiener Art), chicken (Hühnerschnitzel), or turkey (Putenschnitzel). Also any kind of meat can be used, as long as you are able to pound it into a large, flat cutlet.
- Salt and pepper to season the meat before breading
- Flour (for dredging)*
- Egg wash (whole eggs scrambled with a little bit of milk)
- Finely-grated plain, breadcrumbs*
- TIP: Parsley flakes may be added to the breadcrumbs, The addition of salt, pepper and other spices should be used sparingly, if at all, so that the flavor of the meat can shine through.
* To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil (you may substitute with your favorite cooking oil)
How to prepare this dish:
If your Schnitzel (cutlet) is not already thin (some stores or butchers do the work for you) you will need to use a kitchen mallet, pounder, or the bottom of a heavy flat skillet to pound each Schnitzel to about a thickness of 1/4″. Chef Uwe does not recommend a meat tenderizer because it may cause the schnitzel to fall apart.
TIP: Place the meat between two sheets of heavy plastic wrap, like Saran Wrap. Pound the meat from the center of the cutlet out toward the edge until the meat is about 1/4″ thick. If you are preparing several schnitzels, it’s a good idea to do them all at the same time and them let them rest, covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready for the breading of the schnitzel. Don’t season the Schnitzel until you are ready to bread them. Salting them too soon can cause the meat to lose moisture and become dry.
Breading the Schnitzel is a 3-step process, so prepare the coatings in separate dishes with sides to hold everything in.
The coating process can get a bit messy so have paper towels, warm water, and soap close by.
In the first dish place the flour
In the second dish place the egg wash
In the third dish, place the breadcrumbs
Season the flattened meat with salt and pepper on each side
The place the Schnitzel into the flour until it is completely coated in flour of both sides
Next, place the meat into the egg wash
From the egg wash, place the Schnitzel into the breadcrumbs so that the entire surface is well-coated. Use your hands to press the meat into the breadcrumbs
Then put the breaded Schnitzel back into the egg wash
Finally, place the Schnitzel into the breadcrumbs one more time.
Once you have all the Schnitzels breaded and on a large plate, you may cover the Schnitzels and set them aside until you are ready to begin frying.
Since it only takes minutes to fry a Schnitzel, make sure all your side dishes are ready to serve before you begin the final step.
The final step is to fry the Schnitzel over medium to medium-high heat in a large saute pan with about one quarter inch of oil.
Make sure the oil is hot when you place the Schnitzel in the pan.
You want the Schnitzel to get golden-brown on both sides while cooking the meat until just done, but before it becomes dried out.
Be prepared to raise or lower the temperature on the stove.
Add butter to the pan once the Schnitzels are almost ready. Butter gives the Schnitzels a nice color and a great flavor.
You can garnish the Schnitzel with lemon wedges and fresh parsley flakes, or “gourmet it up” by using Chef Uwe’s trick, or a slice of lemon, a small sardine, a few capers, and a sprinkle of parsley.
Many Germans like to top of the traditional breaded Schnitzel with a cream mushroom sauce for a take on “Jägerschnitzel”, The classic Jaegerschnitzel is not breaded, but many people love the combination of a creamy sauce over a breaded Schnitzel.
Others love to top Schnitzel with sunny-side-up egg.
Still others love to drizzle a tangy, lemony sauce over their Schnitzel.
Other variations include a slice of melted cheese, a tomato sauce, or some other complimentary topping.