Prep 20 mins Cook 6 mins Eat 26 mins
I knew that my trip to Vienna (or Wien in German) would result in tasting perfect Wiener Schnitzel. After all, how could this namesake city let me down. It not only didn’t let me down, but I fell in love with all things Vienna. In fact the three days we spent there on our Oktoberfest trip throughout Eastern Europe just wasn’t enough. I’m going back…back for more Wiener Schnitzel, more Mozart Bombes and Mozart Kugeln, more Apfelstrudel and more music concerts. Get my Apple Strudel recipe here.
We made what I thought was perfect Wiener Schnitzel (pronounced veen-er-schnitz-l) in our Oktoberfest cooking class two years ago from this very large pork loin I bought at Costco and I think it came pretty close to the real deal. It’ s easy to cut thin slices from this large roast. The key is in the pounding. You must pound the meat (we used pork, but the traditional meat is veal) to tenderize it and to flatten it out.
If you purchase pork loin cutlets, you will want to “butterfly” each piece to make thin pieces of pork, by slicing with a good sharp knife and long feathering strokes through the center.
You will end up with two pieces from each pork loin cutlet.
After creating thin slices of pork, you will place each slice between plastic wrap and pound it with a mallet on both sides, so that it is super thin and “tenderized”.
Once all the cutlets haven been butterflied and pounded thin, you are ready to cook them. So, set up your breading station and heat up a frying pan on medium-high heat with butter or oil and get ready for the very fast cooking show.
Set up a breading station with a separate plate (I use pie tins) for flour, egg wash and bread crumbs.
You will want to use a pair of tongs to move the pork slice through each step. Second is the messy one, dipping it in the egg wash.
Using the tongs, dip the egg-washed pork slice into the bread crumbs. I used panko bread crumbs in this recipe, which have more texture, but you could use ordinary fine bread crumbs, which is what they do in Vienna.
Immediately place the fresh breaded pork slice into the hot butter or oil. The Wiener Schnitzel cooks quickly, about 3 minutes per side or until a nice golden brown crust forms. Remove from the pan to a plate in a 200° oven to keep warm until all the schnitzels are ready to serve.
Your Wiener Schnitzel is ready to eat. Garnish it with chopped parsley and lemon slices to squeeze over it as you eat. This Warm Red Cabbage Salad is a perfect accompaniment and can be made in advance of the last minute Schnitzel cooking.
Eating this delicious and easy-to-make Wiener Schnitzel will transport you to Vienna. From now on, it will always remind me of the perfect evening we had dining on Wiener Schnitzel, Eiernockerl (a new discovery of spaetzle and egg), and a Mozart Bombe for dessert at Café Schwarzenberg followed by a piano recital of Bach and Chopin Ballades at the Vienna Konzerthaus by Jania Aubakirova of Kazakhstan. I am an amateur pianist attempting to play Chopin’s first Ballade, so this program was heaven to me. To hear this music played in the city, palaces and State Opera house where much of it was born is an emotional experience.
The next morning we attended Sunday Mass at the HofMusikKappelle or Burgkapelle (the chapel at the Imperial Palace). We sat in the same side room where Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”) and other Hapsburg nobiblity would have undoubtedly attended Mass and listened to the Vienna Boys Choir sing a Mass written by Mozart. (Video screens show the choir and orchestra’s every move, since you can’t see a thing below you.) However, next time I will reserve a seat in advance (instead of the night before) in the main chapel where the music surrounds your soul, as I discovered walking into the chapel to partake in the Communion.
Prague was also on our itinerary and one of the highlights was seeing the original scores of Beethoven’s 4th and 5th symphonies at the Lobkowicz Palace, within the Prague Castle compound on the hill. A must see for any classical music lover.
To me, Vienna is about the food, the music and the architecture. There is so much to see and I look forward to another trip and eating more Wiener Schnitzel.
1 1/2 pounds veal or pork loin
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs or panko
6 Tablespoons butter or canola oil
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1. Slice pork loin into thin 1/4″ slices. If you’ve purchased pork cutlets or boneless pork chops, “butterfly” each piece by slicing horizontally with a good sharp knife and long feathering strokes through the center. One piece of pork cutlet will then yield two 1/4″ slices of pork.
2. Using a mallet, place the pork cutlets between plastic wrap and pound them on each side until each slice of pork is about 1/8″ thick.
3. Line up a breading station with three separate plates (I use pie tins). First with the flour mixed with the salt and pepper, second for the eggs and third for the bread crumbs. The fourth step is the frying pan on the cooktop. Lightly beat the eggs with a Tablespoon of water. Add 3 Tablespoons of butter or oil to the frying pan. Heat on medium-high heat until hot, then immediately begin cooking.
4. You will want to use a pair of tongs to move the pork slice through each step. First coat one pork slice with flour, then dip it into the egg wash, then bread crumbs, coating both sides..
5. Immediately place the fresh breaded pork slice into the hot butter or oil. Then repeat until your pan is full. The Wiener Schnitzel cooks quickly, about 3 minutes per side or until a nice golden brown crust forms. Remove from the pan to a plate in a 200° oven to keep warm until all the Schnitzels are ready to serve. You will need to add more butter or oil with each batch.
6. To serve, garnish your platter with chopped parsley and lemon slices to squeeze over the Wiener Schnitzel as you eat.
Servings: 6 – 405 calories per serving