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Wiener (& other) Schnitzels

By Bill Dwyer 

Wiener Schnitzels have been a traditional Austrian dish for at least 500 years. Literally translated from the German, it means “Viennese shred”, which I suppose is based on the fact that the meat used in making schnitzels is usually cross-hatched with a sharp knife before it is flattened. (Yes, we’ll be flattening meat again for this recipe, just as in last month’s Chicken Cordon Bleu). 

“Authentic” Wiener Schnitzel is made by flattening a veal cutlet, breading it, and then frying it. In fact, in Austria it is illegal to call a schnitzel made with any other kind of meat “Wiener Schnitzel”! However, schnitzels mad with pork tenderloin have become more popular than the original veal schnitzel, and schnitzels made with chicken breasts are also popular. Veal just isn’t available here in Quepos, and I don’t like it much anyway, so this month’s recipe will use pork tenderloin. You can substitute chicken breast if you prefer, or, if you’re reading this on www.quepolandia.com, you may have access to veal. This recipe serves two. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small pork tenderloin *(lomito de cerdo) 500gm or less
  • ½ cup   cornstarch (fecula de mais
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten into a small bowl
  • 1 cup   breadcrumbs or Panko
  • vegetable oil for frying 

Directions: 

  1. Place the tenderloin on a cutting board covered with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, slice crosshatches halfway through the meat every half inch or so. Cover the tenderloin with another sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the tenderloin with a meat mallet. If you don’t have one, use one end of a small unopened tin can which does NOT contain soda, beer or other effervescent liquid. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, and slice the tenderloin in half crosswise 
  2. Spread a plate or pie-pan with the cornstarch, and another with breadcrumbs. Pour a scant half-inch of oil into a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Dredge each slice of tenderloin in cornstarch on both sides, patting it to ensure it is fully coated. Dip each slice in the egg-bowl to coat. Dredge the slices in breadcrumbs, patting to coat thoroughly. 
  3. Once the oil has heated up, place the breaded tenderloin slices in the skillet. Fry 4 – 5 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are golden-brown. Drain on paper towels and serve. 

Serving Suggestions: 

Schnitzel can be served as a main dish on a plate with side dishes. One excellent accompaniment is potato salad. Another is boiled potatoes with fresh parsley garnish and a green veggie. 

Our favorite way to serve schnitzel is as a sandwich on a nice bun, like a Kaiser roll or an Italian panino, with melted Cheddar cheese, and selected condiments (always including Dijon mustard). 

I’m sure you can think of other ways to serve your schnitzels. So go to it!


One Response to “Wiener (& other) Schnitzels”

  1. Leo said:

    I’m from Vienna and I love ” Wiener Schnitzel “. Most
    people in Austria eat Wr. Schnitzel with pork tenderloin.
    Wacky Wandas Bar in Quepos, Albert cooked Wr. Schnitzel
    with potato salad , every Wednesday.I’ts a great pity he
    has stopped.

    Pura vida , leo