Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Schnitzel (Wiener Art, sort of)

According to the story, schnitzels originated from Vienna and are traditionally made from cuts of veal which have been pounded flat and then breadcrumbed. Schnitzel (Wiener Art) simply means that the schnitzel is done the same way as in Vienna but not necessarily with veal. I experimented with various meats and I found, to my surprise, that one very tasty cut of meat to use is actually also one of the cheapest, and that is pork shoulder chops!


1. Thick cuts of pork shoulder, no bones (or skinless chicken breast fillet), 250 gms per person
2. Box of breadcrumbs (crusty, golden type)

From your pantry
  • Salt
  • Pepper (ground)
  • Olive oil
  • Potatoes (2-3 per person)
The knack to making a good schnitzel requires a little vigorous application of the meat hammer. Not too much, else the meat will disintegrate into a stringy mess, and not too little as then the meat will remain tough.


Start by preparing the potatoes.

1. Wash the potatoes and place them into the most suitable saucepan
2. Cover with lots of water, sprinkle in a teaspoon of sale and put the lid on
3. Put the saucepan on a ring at high heat
4. When the saucepan is boiling hard, turn the heat down until it is simmering and leave for 20-25 mins until the potatoes are more or less cooked.
5. Drain the water and leave the potatoes to cook by themselves in the saucepan.

The schnitzel itself is prepared very simply.

1. Place a pork shoulder chop on a chopping board on top of a solid surface
2. Whack the meat with the meat hammer, reducing its thickness by 40% or so, not more. So, if the piece of meat was originally 1 inch, then after beating, it should be 0.6 inch thick.
3. Repeat 1 and 2 until all the meat has been tenderised by the meat hammer
4. Sprinkle ground pepper over the meat, then sprinkle salt over the meat, and rub it in
5. Turn the meat over, and repeat step 4
6. Pour the breadcrumbs out onto a large flat plate or chopping board
7. Pat the seasoned meat into the breadcrumbs until it is fully coated
8. Heat some olive oil (about 3 mm deep) in a frying pan under high heat
9. When the oil is hot (ie, when wavy patterns appear on the surface of the oil), use the kitchen tongs to gently and CAREFULLY put as many slices of meat as will fit in the frying pan
10. Fry uninterrupted for about 2-3 mins, then check under the meat to see if it is golden crusty. If it's not cooked, then leave for another minute or so
11. Turn over with the tongs and fry until the other side is also golden crusty
12. Remove from the frying pan and place the meat on some kitchen paper to drain.

Serve by slicing the potatoes (with the skin on) onto a plate, then place a schnitzel on top. If you like, garnish it with some fresh crispy vegetables (which you can buy in packets in a supermarket) and scatter some of CC's Salad Dressing on top. And, er, that's it!

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