Weekend Recipe: Pork Schnitzel

Traditional wienerschnitzel is made with veal, but the culinary geniuses at America's Test Kitchen have subbed in pork, which doesn't dry out as easily. This recipe takes a bit of doing, but man, is the result delicious. Serve it with Austrian potato salad for the full Central European experience.

They've also provided this handy tip: "In lieu of an instant-read thermometer to gauge the oil's temperature, place a fresh (not dry) bread cube in the oil and start heating; when the bread is deep golden brown, the oil is ready."

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenPork Schnitzel
Serves 4
7 large high-quality sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds). trimmed of fat and silver skin and cut on angle into 4 equal pieces
Salt and ground black pepper

Garnishes
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 large hard-cooked egg, yolk and white separated and passed separately through fine-mesh strainer (optional)

Place bread cubes on large microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high power for 4 minutes, stirring well halfway through cooking time. Microwave on medium power until bread is dry and few pieces start to lightly brown, 3 to 5 minutes longer, stirring every minute. Process dry bread in food processor to very fine crumbs, about 45 seconds. Transfer bread crumbs to shallow dish (you should have about 11/4 cups crumbs). Spread flour in second shallow dish. Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon oil in third shallow dish.

Place pork, with 1 cut-side down, between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound to even thickness between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge cutlets thoroughly in flour, shaking off excess, then coat with egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into dish to ensure very thin coating, and coat evenly with bread crumbs, pressing on crumbs to adhere. Place breaded cutlets in single layer on wire rack set over baking sheet; let coating dry 5 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 cups oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it registers 375 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Lay 2 cutlets, without overlapping, in pan and cook, shaking pan continuously and gently, until cutlets are wrinkled and light golden brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to paper towel-lined plate and flip cutlets several times to blot excess oil. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Serve immediately with garnishes.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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