Big, thinly pounded pork cutlets are the most common and traditional Schnitzel in Austria. Using pork provides a more accessible take on the classic Viennese Schnitzel.
If I could name one dish Austria is famous for, I’d say it’s Viennese Schnitzel. Well, and perhaps Sacher Torte. ‚Wiener Schnitzel‘ is one of the best known specialties of Viennese cuisine, and a national dish of Austria. Schnitzel is a thin, breaded and pan fried cutlet.
Authentic Viennese Schnitzel is made from veal, but most Austrians use pork instead of the traditional veal since it is more common and accessible in Austria. It’s just as tasty, in fact, it is my preference.
Authentic Viennese Schnitzel is made
Viennese Schnitzel is a protected term and must be made with veal. However, pork schnitzel is even more common in Austria. You can order it in every traditional Austrian restaurant and it’s often referred to as „Viennese pork schnitzel“ on menus. My family prepares Schnitzel every single Sunday, and exclusively with pork. Also: I personally don’t like to eat veal.
You can make schnitzel using chicken or turkey too.
It’s delicious but less common in Austria; often times you’ll find these items
on the ‚kids‘ section‘ of menus.
Side dishes for Schnitzel
Schnitzel is traditionally served with a lemon slice or wedge, which you squeeze over the meat, some lingonberry jam and either potato salad or buttered parsley potatoes. I went with a Viennese-style potato field salad here, which is lightly coated in a nice tangy, super-easy vinaigrette. The potatoes will melt in your mouth, while the field salad (lamb’s lettuce) provides a leafy, fresh element.
Another option as side dish could be this traditional Austrian potato salad, which takes a little longer to prepare since it consists of a vinegar base and is flavored with onions, broth, and mustard. However, it fits perfectly with Viennese Schnitzel as well.
I grew up in Upper Austria, a province to the west of
Vienna, where we traditionally enjoy different side dishes to Schnitzel. But more
on this in an upcoming post.
How to make pork Schnitzel at home
The key to a tender Schnitzel that is easy on the bite is a thorough beating with a meat tenderizer before it’s breaded and fried. Never omit this step or you’ll end up with chewy Schnitzel.
Thoroughly pound cutlets to roughly 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet. Use the flat side of your meat mallet, if it has one. Lightly season the meat evenly with a good pinch of salt on both sides.
Set up three bowls for flour, egg mixed with 1 Tbsp milk, and breadcrumbs. Dredge each cutlet in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Add breaded cutlets to a pan with hot oil and sauté until cooked through and the breading is golden brown. That’s it!
Below I added a video on how to make Schnitzel in your own kitchen. Just like the ones you would get at a traditional Viennese restaurant.
Authentic Viennese Pork Schnitzel
Serving Size: 2-4 servings (see intro)
Family recipe for authentic and golden Viennese pork cutlets. This recipe yields 4 medium-sized schnitzels. Depending if you go heavy on the meat or on the sides, this will make enough for 2 to 4 persons. I love to eat the sides (potato salad!), so one Schnitzel is perfectly enough for me. I recommend potato salad or boiled and buttered parsley potatoes (see note) as a side dish to Schnitzel.
Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com
1/3 cup (45 g) all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk (you can substitute water)
3/4 cup (90 g) fine plain dried breadcrumbs
1 pound (453 g) pork, cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch cutlets*
Sunflower oil (you can substitute any other neutral tasting oil)
Optional: serve with a lemon slice or wedge and lingonberry jam - never ketchup ;-)
Set up three bowls for flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Put flour in a wide shallow bowl or on a plate. Lightly whisk egg and milk in another wide shallow bowl, just until combined. Note: Usually 1 egg is enough to coat 4 medium chops, but you can always crack another egg open if it isn‘t. Put 1/2 cup breadcrumbs in a third wide shallow bowl or on a plate. You might not need the entire 3/4 cup, add the rest if needed.
Thoroughly pound cutlets to 1/4"-1/8" thickness using a meat mallet. Use the flat side of your meat mallet, if it has one. Lightly season the meat evenly with a good pinch of salt on both sides.
Dredge each cutlet in flour, then shake off excess. Dip in egg, turn to coat, letting excess egg drip back into the bowl before breading in breadcrumbs. Press lightly to adhere, then shake off excess.
Once all cutlets are breaded, pour oil into a large deep skillet and heat it over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once oil is hot, add breaded cutlets one by one if they are large or a few at a time if they are smaller. Sauté 3-4 min per side or until cooked through and the breading is golden brown. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady, vigorous bubble. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve with potato field salad, Austrian potato salad, or buttery parsley boiled potatoes and some lingonberry jam. Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired, and squeeze the juice over the Schnitzel before eating. Guten Appetit!
* For an authentic Viennese Schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel), use veal. Viennese Schnitzel is a protected term and must be made with veal. However, pork schnitzel is even more common in Austria. You’ll get it in every traditional Austrian restaurant and it’s often referred to as „Vienese pork schnitzel“ on menus. My family prepares Schnitzel exclusively with pork. Also: I personally don’t like to eat veal. You can make schnitzel using chicken or turkey too. It’s delicious but less common in Austria; often times you’ll find these items on the ‚kids‘ section‘ of menus.
Boiled buttery parsley potatoes: Cook potatoes (I prefer starchy ones here), peel, cut into cubes. Melt some butter in a pan, add potatoes and chopped parsley, then toss and keep warm.