Dinner Tonight: Pork Schnitzel
I always assumed Wiener Schnitzel was from Germany, but the claim goes that it's really Austrian in origin—and that it's not served with a sauce at all, but simply with a wedge of lemon. It's also traditionally made with veal, and in fact must be made from veal if it's to be called Wiener Schnitzel in an Austrian restaurant. Then again, Wikipedia also tells a story of possible schnitzel roots in northern Italy, so who really knows? Whatever the authenticity-mongers say, this recipe made from pork with a sour cream sauce is delicious, adapted from Elise Bauer's wonderful blog Simply Recipes.
It also eschews the deep-fry method often used for a pan-frying, though plenty of oil is still necessary and this is no health food. High heat is key in the beginning to make sure the bread-crumb coating doesn't get soggy, but be absolutely sure to turn the heat way down when making the pan sauce, as sour cream can easily separate and ruin the sauce. Flat cutlets are also essential for even cooking. I'd highly recommend panko breadcrumbs if available, as they are wonderfully airy and light when crisped up with a little oil, keeping a satisfying crunch.
- serves 4 -
Adapted from Simply Recipes
For the schnitzel
4 boneless pork chops (1 pound total)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup panko or other dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoon neutral oil
For the sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)
1. Lay the cutlets one at a time on a cutting board under a sheet of plastic wrap. Pound them gently and evenly until very thin, ideally 1/8-inch thick. Trim any fat or sinew from the edges, and cut small slits to prevent curling.
2. Mix together flour, salt, and pepper in one bowl, the egg and milk in a second bowl, and the paprika and bread crumbs in a third. Whisk the egg and milk well.
3. Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until a bit of breadcrumb dropped into the oil sputters violently. Dredge the cutlets in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and cook, at most two simultaneously, for 3 minutes on one side and 4 on the second, until golden and cooked through. Remove to a warm oven or cover with foil to keep warm until all the cutlets are cooked.
4. Turn the heat to low and add the chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. While it reduces slightly, mix together the dill, salt, and sour cream. Pour some of the chicken stock into the bowl and whisk quickly until incorporated, then pour the contents of the bowl into the skillet. Heat gently until just warm and slightly thickened. Season to taste, and serve with the cutlets.