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German Pork Schnitzel (Schweine Schnitzel)

Thinly pounded pork cutlet, breaded and quickly pan-fried until crispy, what’s not to like!? A traditional German meal often served in restaurants and pubs across the country, pork schnitzel is usually served with only a few Pommes (fries), a wedge of fresh lemon, and parsley.

When made at home as an everyday meal, Schnitzel can also be alongside German spaetzle noodles, a simple leafy green salad, or potato salad, (the vinegar-based kind, not the creamy American version!)

authentic german pork schnitzel served with fries, a wedge of lemon, and parsley on a white plate

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Different Kinds Of Schnitzel

The word ‘schnitzel‘ has its roots in the German word ‘schnitz‘, (which means ‘to carve‘ or ‘cut‘) and in the culinary sense, refers to thinly sliced, breaded, and fried meat.

Similar to escalope in France, or milanesa in Italy, various types of schnitzel, have been popularized all over the world.

In Germany, schnitzel as a dish is usually prepared using pork or veal, and various preparations have different names. The most popular version being the Wiener schnitzel, or schnitzel Wiener art (Viennese style schnitzel). Wiener schnitzel is traditionally made with veal, and actually originates in Austria where it is a national dish.

Other popular German variations include:

  • jägerschnitzel (hunter’s schnitzel) – served with a rich mushroom brown sauce.
  • rahmschnitzel (cream schnitzel) – served with a cream sauce, sometimes containing sliced mushrooms or other garnishes.
  • paprikaschnitzel (sometimes also called zigeuner (gypsy) schnitzel) – served with a tomato-based sauce with bell peppers and onions.

Of course any cut or type of meat could be thinly pounded out, breaded and fried to create a schnitzel, for example a chicken schnitzel!

Our German Schnitzel Recipe

Before we jump in and start cooking, you may be wondering, “What is the best cut of meat to use for making schnitzel?” Ideally, you’ll want to use a relatively lean, boneless cut of meat. If using pork, boneless pork chops are perfect. The same goes for veal and chicken schnitzel.

To make this super simple schweine schnitzel (pork schnitzel), all you need is:

  • 4 -6 boneless pork chops or cutlets
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 whole eggs whisked together
  • 1 – 2s cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon – cut into wedges as garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley – as garnish
  • pure rendered pork fat for frying, or canola oil

There is a little bit of work involved when making schnitzel since we need to pound out the meat and bread it, but once you get the hang of the process, it is actually quite simple and can be done fairly quickly.

1. Start by placing the pork chops, (one at a time) in between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap, and then pound them out until they are 1/4 inch thick or thinner. The flat side of a meat mallet works best for this, but any solid flat object will work within reason. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

You don’t ‘have’ to use parchment or plastic wrap to pound out the meat, but it will prevent tiny bits of meat and pork juice splattering around your kitchen.

pork cutlet pounded out thin for use in making schnitzel

2. Prepare a simple breading station with three large bowls. Fill one with the flour and salt, the second one with the three eggs, and the last one with the breadcrumbs.

breading station for making pork schnitzel

Bread the pork schnitzel by dipping each pounded-out pork chop into the flour, then submerging it in the egg mixture, and finally dredging it in the breadcrumbs. Make sure the schnitzel is fully breaded, but don’t press the breading onto the meat too hard, otherwise the schnitzel breading won’t be light and crispy!

close up of a lightly breaded pork schnitzel on a plate

Set the breaded schnitzel aside until you are ready to fry it. Prepare any garnishes or side dishes at this point such as spaetzle noodles, potato salad, or simple green salad.

Related:  Pork Hock Fettuccine Carbonara

3. Heat the cooking oil to about 330 F or until a wooden spoon handle held in the oil lets out tiny air bubbles. Pure rendered pork fat, (ask your local butcher if they have some available!) is perfect for frying schnitzel, but canola or any other high temperature cooking oil will do as well.

pork schnitzel 'swimming' in oil in a pan while frying

Heat enough oil to shallow fry the schnitzel. In other words it should just barely ‘swim’ in the hot oil. Carefully place the schnitzel in the hot oil, and immediately swish the pan to ensure it ‘swims’ freely. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the edges start to turn golden brown.

checking to see if the pork schnitzel is ready to be flipped

Note: If the schnitzel doesn’t immediately start to sizzle loudly when it hits the oil, your oil isn’t hot enough! Using cold oil and letting it heat up in the pan with the breaded schnitzel will result in soggy breading!

golden brown pork schnitzel being fried in a large pan

4.Once the schnitzel has been fried to a nice golden brown, use tongs and gently remove it from the fat. Briefly pat the schnitzel with some paper towel, or clean linen cloth to absorb any excess oil. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon and sprig of parsley for best results!

vertical image of pork schnitzel being served with french fries and lemon garnish

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authentic german pork schnitzel served with fries, a wedge of lemon, and parsley on a white plate

German Pork Schnitzel (Schweine Schnitzel)

Chef Markus Mueller
Lightly breaded and fried until golden brown, pork schnitzel is a traditional German meal often served in restaurants and pubs with only a few fries, a wedge of fresh lemon, and parsley. An easy and delicious meal anyone can make at home!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine German
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 -6 individual pork chops boneless
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 whole eggs whisked together
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 whole lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley sprigs used as garnish
  • pure rendered pork fat for frying canola oil or other high heat cooking oil can also be used

Instructions
 

  • Place the pork chops, (one at a time) in between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap, and then pound them out until they are no thicker than 1/4 inch using the flat side of a meat mallet. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare a simple breading station with three bowls. Fill one with the flour and salt, the second one with the three eggs, and the last one with the breadcrumbs. Bread the pork schnitzel by dipping each pounded-out pork chop into the flour, then submerging it in the egg mixture, and finally dredging it in the breadcrumbs. Make sure the schnitzel is fully breaded.
  • Set the breaded schnitzel aside until you are ready to fry it. Prepare any garnishes or side dishes at this point such as spaetzle noodles, potato salad, or simple green salad.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the cooking oil to about 330 F or until a wooden spoon handle held in the oil lets out tiny air bubbles. Heat enough oil to shallow fry the schnitzel. Carefully place the schnitzel in the hot oil, and immediately swish the pan to ensure it 'swims' freely. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  • Remove the fried pork schnitzel from the oil, and pat dry any excess oil with a paper towel or clean linen cloth. Serve immediatly with lemon wedges and parsely!
Keyword german schnitzel recipe, schweine schnitzel, wienerschnitzel

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I confess I only know schnitzel from the line in “My Favorite Things” about schnitzel with noodles. This looks like scrumptious comfort food and well worth taking seriously. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  2. 5 stars
    Many thanks for sharing this recipe. I have always bought the Schnitzel ready made. I will certainly try and surprise my German husband with this. I have a nice Spätzle recipe to go with it. 🙂

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