Did you know that when a dish uses the term ‘wiener schnitzel’, it must be made of veal according to Austrian and German laws? And it must be specified otherwise if it is made with pork or other meat. Clearly, there’s no doubt that certain traditional Bavarian foods are taken very seriously.
For some reason, a big, hearty, Bavarian meal is always more satisfying moving into the fall season (and perfect for Oktoberfest!). Perhaps it’s the starchy, heavy food that seems to keep you warm, or perhaps it’s just the atmosphere surrounding all the traditional festivities. And schnitzels are definitely a part of that tradition.
Schnitzel, in general, is simply meat that’s been thinned by pounding with a tenderizer. It’s fried, coated with flour, with beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. Sounds simple, but simple won’t impress your guests. Make sure you follow these guidelines.
Here’s how you make the perfect schnitzel
1. Thin your meat
Schnitzel is delicious, and it cooks really fast. So the thinner your meat is, the faster your meat will fry, and the juicier it will be. Pound your meat in a zip bag to about 1/4-inch thick to make a traditional schnitzel. An enclosed bag—as opposed to plastic sheets—reduces the mess and helps retain some of the juice.
2. Don’t overkill with the breading
If you’re serving a Bavarian meal, the chances are there are already a few starchy sides at the table. Coat the schnitzel with flour and some salt and pepper to taste. Follow it with well-beaten egg coating, and lastly breadcrumb coating. If you load it up with too much breadcrumb, it’ll be much oilier and could end up being thicker than the meat itself. Coat it with just enough breadcrumbs to cover the meat entirely.
3. Fry it immediately
You don’t want the juices, flour, and egg to soak before you fry it. It’ll make the breading much too thick and end up being a mat on its own. After you coat the meat, fry it immediately in hot oil in a frying pan for a few minutes on each side until it’s crispy and golden.
4. Cut the grease
Serve it with bread or potatoes, anything you want, but make sure you pair it with a generous wedge of lemon, pickles, and some coleslaw on the side to complement your table of carb heaven.
And that’s it. Super easy and super quick. It’s perfect if you’re short on time and still want a delicious, impressive meal. It’s also quite versatile considering any meat works—just don’t advertise it incorrectly in Germany or Austria.
Are you a fan of schnitzel? Share with us any tips and recipes you have!