Visit any Austrian and/or German home and it would be difficult to believe they don’t know how to make Wienerschnitzel. It’s a staple dish that is quick to make and is oh so delicious. Traditionally, this dish is made with veal. But that can get very expensive. A good alternative is pork loin, boneless chops. There’s a trick to getting this cut of pork to be as tender and buttery as veal. Milk.
I wanted to make wienerschnitzel with veal a couple of years ago and went from market to market looking for a thin cut of veal. They were nowhere to be had. I got the great idea to visit our local German butcher shop. Surely they would have veal for weinerschnitzel. Out of luck, they didn’t. But, they didn’t send me away empty-handed, they gave me a great tip: use a thin cut of a center loin pork chop and soak it overnight in milk. The milk draws out the pork taste and tenderizes it all at the same time. Go figure. I’ve been making weinerschnitzel this way ever since and no one is the wiser.
My parents are from Germany and my mother was an excellent cook. I learned a lot from her just watching her work her magic in the kitchen. She never wrote any recipes down, they were all in her head…and now mine. This is one of them, and it’s one recipe that has been made so often in my house growing up and now by me, that I can do this in my sleep. The recipe can be lightened up by substituting things here and there, but I would think it would be difficult to make this a gluten-free recipe.
My kids ask for this dish a lot too. But it seems these kinds of dishes (read: German ones) are requested more in the Fall and Winter than any other time during the year. Ways to lighten it up in sodium and calories is using only egg whites instead of the whole egg, season the pork with Mrs. Dash rather than with salt and pepper and the biggest way is to bake these in the oven instead of sauteeing/frying them. Although I’ve never baked my Weinerschnitzel and have no idea how they would turn out.
I’ve been making this dish for over 20 years now and there are different ways of serving this. Plain, with only lemon is Wienerschnitzel, but if you add a brown mushroom sauce, it’s Jaegerschnitzel. Leftovers can be sliced and served on a dense rye bread for lunch the next day (which is also quite tasty).
A typical meal with Wienerschnitzel would be boiled potatoes, or fried, peas and carrots and a spring salad with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing. These meals were always served for lunch instead of dinner though. Some households in Germany still eat this way, with dinner consisting of a piece of bread with cheese and/or sausage and some fruit. I remember living in Germany for the summer one year and consistently eating this way and actually prefer to eat my meals that way. It can get difficult though when I’m at work and can’t cook! (Although I think my co-workers would love it if I did…maybe.)
The process of making this sounds complicated and lengthy, but really, it isn’t. Especially if you get everything lined up and get a rhythm going. Remember to soak your pork loin chops (boneless) in milk overnight if you don’t want that pork taste. Pat the chops dry and then pound them out until they are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Get your pan large enough to hold a couple of these chops ready (because they will get bigger in diameter after pounding them out) and your assembly line of 3 containers: one with Dixie Fry, one with beaten egg and one with Italian Seasoned bread crumbs and you are ready!
- 6 boneless thin center cut pork loin chops
- milk (enough to cover chops and soak overnight)
- ½ - ¾ tsp. Lawry's Season salt
- ¼ - ⅔ cup Dixie Fry seasoned flour (found in the isle where the seasoned bread crumbs are. If you can't find it, regular flour works just as well. Season the flour with salt and paprika to taste)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2½ Tbs. safflower oil, divided
- ½ - ¾ cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
- Lemons, sliced or quartered (optional)
- Place pork chops in a gallon Ziploc bag; pour milk until chops are covered. Place in a bowl and in refrigerator overnight. Pat dry when ready to assemble and prepare. (Skip this step if you don't mind the pork taste)
- Place chops on a stable cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound out with a meat pounder until about ⅛ - ¼ inch thick.
- Season with Lawry's season salt.
- Get three like containers (even dinner plates work for this step) and put the Dixie Fry on one, set aside; beat the two eggs and ½ Tbs. safflower oil on the 2nd one, set aside: place italian seasoned bread crumbs on the last plate/container. Line them up so the Dixie fry is first, egg second and bread crumbs third.
- Take a chop lay it in the Dixie fry and shake to cover. Flip it over and do the same thing. Pick it up (use a fork or tongs) shaking off any excess Dixie Fry. Place in the egg and dredge on both sides. Transfer to the bread crumbs and shake to cover. Flip over to the other side and shake. Place on a plate. Repeat until all chops are done - Dixie Fry, egg, bread crumbs.
- Add remaining oil to skillet large enough to hold at least 3 or 4 chops. Preheat on medium heat or 300 degrees for an electric skillet. Add wienerschnitzel and fry about 7 minutes or until golden brown. Do not try to pick up the wienerschnitzel too early or else the breading will be torn off. Flip the wienerschnitzel over and fry the other side about 5 - 7 minutes or until a golden brown.
- Serve immediately. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on your wienerschnitzel, pop open a beer, put on an um-pa-paa song...or not, and enjoy!