Wiener Schnitzel


Wiener Schnitzel 

From Alfons Schuhbeck

After a recent visit to Chicago’s fabulous German Day Festival I found myself craving some of the Bavarian treats I used to enjoy when I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria during college.  Unfortunately, 20-year-old me didn’t have the foresight to write down any recipes while I was there, so I was forced to find a suitable one here.  The thing is, I have this weird penchant for authenticity and I just couldn’t be convinced that an American chef would know the first thing about wiener schnitzel.  Before I knew it I was cruising German recipe sites pretending to remember the 5 years of German I took back in the day.

Apparently this Alfons Schuhbeck dude is kind of the man when it comes to German cuisine – I read about him on Wikipedia in English, so I feel pretty confident about that much.  His recipe, however, I could only find in German.  So with the help of an online German-English dictionary and some educated guessing, I created this rough translation of Mr. Schuhbeck’s schnitzel.  I can’t be 100% sure it’s exactly as he wrote it, but I can tell you for a fact that it was awesome.  Guten Appetit!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 5 slices fresh white bread, crusts removed
  • 8 small veal cutlets, about 2 ounces each (should be from the top round cut in the leg; purchase either very thinly sliced pieces or normal sliced pieces pounded out; don’t be afraid to talk to your butcher about what you’re making and what to buy, they’re super friendly meat-loving people, I promise!)
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • flour for dredging, spread out on a plate
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • berry jam, for serving

Preparation

  1. Turn butter into clarified butter.  This will result in slightly less than a cup of clarified butter, which is fine.
  2. In a bowl wide enough to dip the veal cutlets in, whisk together eggs and cream.
  3. Grind bread into fine bread crumbs and pour them onto a plate.  I use my food processor for this.
  4. Salt and pepper the veal.
  5. Set plates up in the order of flour, eggs, bread crumbs.  Take the first cutlet and dredge it in the flour, making sure it is coated, but excess is shaken off.  Then dip it in the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs.  Make sure bread crumbs stick all over the veal, but try not to press them into the meat.  Set the finished cutlet aside and continue the process with remaining cutlets.  One helpful hint from our family’s dedicated dredger of meats (aka John…I avoid the dirty work!): keep one hand dry and one hand wet.  For example, use your left hand to dip it in the flour and drop it in the egg, use the right to move it around in the egg and drop it and move it around in the bread crumbs.
  6. Heat a large, high sided frying pan over medium heat.  When pan is hot, add clarified butter.
  7. Place as many cutlets as possible in the pan, but do not let them overlap.  This may require several batches.
  8. Cook cutlets until golden brown on the bottom, and then flip CAREFULLY…breading will fall off if you’re too rough with tongs.  I think next time we’ll use a spatula.  Continue cooking until other side is golden brown.  Ours took about 4 minutes per side.
  9. Remove finished cutlets (CAREFULLY…see note in step 8) and allow them to drain for a minute or two on paper towels.
  10. Serve with lemon halves and a berry jam of your choice.  Lingonberry is traditional, but we couldn’t find that so we went with a mixed berry.

Serves 4.

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