I can’t let Oktober end without a Germanic recipe. Actually, the dish–sometimes rendered as “Vienna schnitzel”–is from the city referred to in the name. Which I hope will banish forever any lingering idea you might have that this has anything to do with hot dogs. It’s really more like the familiar panneed meat we all grew up with in New Orleans.
In its classic form, wiener schnitzel is made with veal. However, for some years now I’ve made it exclusively with pork loin, which I find much tenderer and more flavorful. (Not to mention cheaper and more available, since we always seem to be doing something with pork loins around my house.) I prefer using the center-cut part, well trimmed. This also has the lightest color. I have also been known to use pork tenderloin, sliced thinly instead of being pounded.
- 2 lbs. pork loin
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbs. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3 Tbs. buttermilk
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. dill weed
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Slice the pork loin across the grain about 1/3 inch thick. Using a smooth meat mallet, the side of a heavy cleaver, or some other pounding implement, pound out the meat until it’s about as thick as two stacked quarters.
2. Combine the butter and vegetable oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Don’t allow to smoke.
3. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Pick up pinches of the flour mixture and dust the meat with it lightly. Don’t dredge the meat through the flour.
4. Combine the beaten egg and buttermilk in a broad bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and the dill. Dip the floured pork into it and coat completely. Allow the excess to drip off, then dredge the pork through the bread crumbs. Neither shake off the crumbs, nor press them down into the meat, but put the pork directly into the pan, where the oil-butter mixture should now be good and hot.
5. Cook two pieces at a time, about a minute and a half to two minutes per side, then drain on paper towels. Add more butter and oil if necessary to maintain about 1/4 inch depth in the pan.
6. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley on top, and serve with a lemon wedge and capers. Pasta or potatoes make good side dishes.
Serves four to six.