One of the best parts about being stationed in Europe was driving to Germany for schnitzel and beer. Schnitzel is Germany’s version of country fried steak. You take a piece of meat, bread it up, deep fry it and smother it in gravy. How can you go wrong with that?
A trick I learned years ago on the Food Network is that when you fry something, always think of February—FEB (flour, egg, breadcrumbs). If you dip your meat in the ingredients in that order, you’re good to go.
Schnitzel is generally made with pork. The secret is to pound it very thin. Living in a military town, I’m lucky enough to have a cultural variety of ingredients readily available. I can go down the street and easily find Korean, Filipino or German food. We have a great German market that sells spicy mustards and authentic breadcrumbs, and my local butcher sells pork already pounded out for schnitzel. If you’re not quite as lucky, just pound your pork between two pieces of plastic wrap and use traditional breadcrumbs. I highly recommend you find the authentic mustard though. It’s got that extra special kick that you just don’t find in the plain yellow stuff.
I usually serve schnitzel on cold winter days with mashed potatoes or spätzle (noodles), but when I went to my butcher this week, I just couldn’t resist. To lighten up the dish on this hot spring day, I served it with a German mustard sauerkraut salad. You can use any type of lettuce leaves, but I prefer măche. It’s a popular lettuce in Europe. I like it as a side item because the leaves are small and delicate and hold dressing really well. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C and potassium.
- 2-4 boneless pork cutlets, pounded thin
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup canola oil (you can also use olive oil)
Dredge both sides of the pork in the flour. Shake off excess.
Dip the pork into the eggs. Allow excess to drip off.
Dredge both sides of the pork through the breadcrumbs. Use your fingertips to press extra breadcrumbs onto the surface. Gently shake off excess.
Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, until it reaches 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil by dropping a couple of breadcrumbs into the hot oil. If it sizzles without browning too fast, it’s ready. Gently place the pork into the oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, ensuring you have a nice golden brown crust. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Top with gravy and serve.
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup chicken broth or white wine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I prefer crimini)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons German mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a small pitcher, whisk together the milk, chicken broth (or wine) and the flour.
Heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and onions and sauté, until tender.
Add mushrooms and olive oil. Sauté until the mushrooms have softened.
Add the mustard and stir continuously. Immediately pour in the milk and flour mixture. Stir until the gravy thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over prepared schnitzel.
- 1 tablespoon German mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1-2 cups M?che lettuce
- 2 tablespoons sauerkraut
In a medium bowl, whisk mustard, olive oil and honey together, until it’s well blended. Add lettuce leaves and sauerkraut and toss well. Serve alongside schnitzel.