An entry of Yoggis Hausmannskost – Yoggi’s Plain Cooking Series
Having experienced the gamut of Schnitzel preparations in Germany, we have found that it can range from veal that is textbook thin, tender and moist, to pork so rubbery the challenge is to keep it on the plate while sawing through it.
Then there is the mushroom sauce variation, another which is accompanied by bacon, onions and sour cream, and so forth.
However, like apple strudel, Schnitzel’s stereotypical association with Germany/ Austria is misplaced. According to the Kitchen Project, pounded meat that was breaded and fried goes back to the ancient Romans from no less than 1 BC.
In cooking his Schnitzel, Yoggi made sure to stress the importance of the meat being pounded till it was thin and evenly so, the shape not mattering. It was also important to whisk the egg till it was foamy in order that the breading mix would stick well.
Recipe: Yoggi’s Schnitzel Wiener Art with Swabian Potato Salad
(Schnitzel cooked in the style of a Wiener Schnitzel and potato salad from the southwest German region of Swabia; for 5 people)
Schnitzel Wiener Art
5 pork schnitzels (pork cutlets / butterflied boneless pork chops)
1. Wash pork and pat dry. If the cutlets are too thick, halve them. Pound each one with a meat tenderiser so the meat is of even thin-ness. Place it between two sheets of plastic to make sure it doesn’t tear during pounding. The shape doesn’t matter.
2. Season one side with salt and pepper, and the other side with paprika.
3. Prepare two deep dishes. Fill one with the breading mix. In the other, whisk the eggs with salt, pepper and a little milk till foamy. Be sure to whisk the mixture till it really rises so that the breading mix sticks.
4. Coat each cutlet first in the egg then in the breading mixture. Repeat this.
5. In a frying pan, pour enough oil for the meat to swim in. Fry each cutlet till both sides are golden brown, constantly turning it. Remove and keep warm. Repeat till all cutlets are done.
6. Serve the pork with the potato salad. Other side dish options include frozen mixed vegetables, seasonal asparagus and cauliflower.
Swabian Potato Salad
1.5 kg waxy potatoes (In Germany, go for Sieglinde or Bamberger Hörnchen)
1 medium-sized onion
1/2 tbsp of hot Dijon mustard
2 tbsp vegetable stock – make 1/4 L of stock
5 tbsp oil
3 – 5 tbsp white wine vinegar (this is very sour, so use sparingly)
Salt and pepper
1. Boil potatoes for 30 minutes till soft.
2. Slice onions into thick slices.
3. Slice bacon into small thin strips.
4. When potatoes are cooked, rinse with cold water so they are easier to peel. Slice into thick slices.
5. Fry onions and bacon in oil till onions are transparent. When they are almost cooked, swirl in some vinegar and turn off the heat. Add to the potatoes.
6. Make the vinaigrette sauce: heat the oil, add the vinegar, mustard, stock, honey, salt and pepper. Boil.
7. Add to the salad and toss; the potatoes will break up. Serve warm.
This is part of my series on Yoggis Hausmannskost (Yoggi’s Plain Cooking), a collection of German recipes and associated thoughts. The recipes are those of my dear friend and great cook, Yoggi. Our cooking sessions – and long chats – were instrumental in my picking up and practising German and German culture.