Pork Wiener Schnitzel

Thanks to Oscar Mayer, when I told my kids I was making Wiener Schnitzel they thought they’d be eating hot dogs. I gave them a quick German lesson; Pronounce your German”W” as a “V”; take “Vienna” and drop the “a”, and add the “-er” suffix).  So, Wiener means either something or someone from Vienna; in this case it’s a Viennese Schnitzel. While traditionally made from veal, this recipe from Cook’s Country uses pork, which is a common substitution. While many pork cutlets can be tough if overcooked, using the tenderloin ensures just as tender a meal as if veal were used. The results were similar to a Milanese. It was kid-friendly and delicious; 4-stars.

Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein

Issues:

  1. Chris Kimball’s original recipe calls for cooking two whole pork tenderloins; but that is more than my family can possible eat. One tenderloin yields 4 good-size cutlets.
  2. The egg yolk can optionally be put through a sieve, but for simplicity’s sake I chose to serve it merely crumbled.
  3. It would have been perfect had I served it with a potato salad.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $7.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium/High.
Start time 5:15 PM. Finish time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared this today are given below:

7 large high-quality sandwich bread
1/2-cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2-cups plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1-1/4 pounds).
Salt and ground black pepper

Garnishes:
1 lemon
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons capers
1 large hard-cooked egg

  1. If you plan to garnish with hard-boiled egg. Place egg in pan of cold water, slowly bring to boil over medium-high heat, let boil for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let sit in hot water for 20 more minutes. They will be perfectly cooked without the green ring around the yolk.
  2. Remove crust and slice bread into 3/4″ cubes. Place bread cubes on large microwave-safe pie plate. Microwave on high power for 4 minutes, stirring well halfway through cooking time.
  3. Reduce power on microwave to medium power. Cook for 5 additional minutes or until the bread is dry. Stir every minutes to ensure that the bread on the bottom will dry out and an equal pace. Some of the bread will begin to lightly brown.
  4. Process dry bread in food processor for 45 seconds. Return the very fine bread crumbs to pie plate in which you microwaved them. In another pie plate add flour. In a third pie plate, mix the eggs with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  5. Trim off any fat and remove the silver skin. Cut the tenderloin on a diagonal into 4 equal pieces. Cutting on a diagonal will ensure the pieces are oblong, instead of round. Place one piece at a time inside a gallon-sized Zip-lock bag  and pound to an even thickness of between 1/8″ and 1/4″. Remove from bag and season cutlets with salt and pepper. Repeat pounding process with remaining cutlets.
  6. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge thoroughly in flour, shaking off excess, then coat with egg mixture, allowing any excess egg to drip back. You want to ensure a very thin and even coating. Finally coat evenly with bread crumbs, pressing so that the crumbs adhere. Place breaded cutlets on wire rack to allow the coating to dry for 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile prepare your garnished. Slice a lemon into wedges, chop your parsley, rinse you capers to remove the brine, and separate your egg white and yolk (either crumble or pass separately through a fine-mesh strainer).
  8. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil reaches 375-degrees, put 2 breaded cutlets in pan and cook for 2 minutes per side, gently shaking pan continuously so that cutlets will be wrinkled.  Flip and cook the second side for between 1 and 2 minutes. Remove and place cutlets on paper towel-lined plate and flip cutlets several times to blot excess oil. Repeat cooking process with remaining cutlets.
  9. Serve immediately with garnishes.
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2 Responses to Pork Wiener Schnitzel

  1. David O'Connell says:

    After reading this recipe, I prepared it several times. The results were unpredictable. My first batch of bread crumbs proved to be uncooked and did not brown as expected. I tried panko crumbs, and the results were disastrous, with browning far too quickly. Then, I reached the conclusion that the microwave drying of the bread was too fussy, a complaint I have about a lot of the Cook’s Illustrated recipes. Finally, I just cut off the bread crusts, and put the bread on a sheet pan at 200 degrees until crisp as Cook’s recommends for other recipes. Then I put the dried bread into a food processor as directed for 45 seconds. That worked and did not over-brown in the deep frying.

    The recipe uses a lot of oil, and unless you are equipped to filter and recycle the oil, disposal is a problem. The recipe is also a bit dangerous, calling for lifting the Dutch oven and shaking to assure a “wrinkled” surface. I tired two solutions, first, use less oil and simply cook in a skillet. The problem with that solution is that the temperature of the oil dropped, forcing longer cooking time. Second, I bit the bullet and attempted to save the oil. My wife is a clean-freak and, although she enjoyed the schnitzel, she did not like the oil cooling in the Dutch oven waiting to be filtered. Small things like this bring marital friction

    Last, the recipe is quick to cook. But, the prep and the cleanup extend the time. It is also extremely messy, another point of marital friction. I tried to anticipate this by preparing the cutlets in the morning to be cooked after work. I even tried to freeze the cutlets after breading. This provided disappointing results every time.

    My final conclusion was that the recipe is fine as is, with little tweaking; but, as with any deep fried dish involving breading, there is no walk away time.

    • Thanks for your detailed comments!

      Yes, with all the new recipes that I’ve tried since starting this blog I certainly understand what your saying about trying to minimize marital friction. To me, I just discard the 2 cups of oil. For the exact reason you mention (keeping the wife happy), it’s just not worth try to save until its closer to 6 cups of oil.

      Many couples have the opposite person who cooks do the cleaning, but I think that causes more problems that it solves. I am judicious with the mess that I make, and wash dishes when I have free moments while preparing the recipe. My wife likes to pre-mesasure everything out into little separate bowl (like they do on TV shows), and she’ll never wash and re-use anything. Unfortunately, I’m stuck cleaning the kitchen no matter what; but after 15 years I’ve learned to just accept it.

      I also agree that toasting the bread in the regular oven is much simpler than CI’s microwaving procedures.

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