It’s hard to narrow down the best pork recipes — I mean — “Hello… BACON…” But for a busy weeknight, schnitzels are at the top of my list. So what is pork schnitzel? Essentially, schnitzels are pieces of meat that are pounded thin, then breaded and fried (#doesntsuck). These Crunchy Breaded Pork Cutlets savory and slightly tangy, thanks to the dijon mustard dip. As far as schnitzel recipes go, this is one of the best — and we’ve got some great suggestions on what to serve with pork schnitzel too…
So, what is pork schnitzel? What are other schnitzel recipes? Know what to serve with pork schnitzel? We’ll get to all your burning questions in a sec, but let’s start with the basics…
What Is Pork Schnitzel?
- Schnitzel is made of meat — usually chicken, veal, beef, turkey, pork — even mutton and reindeer.
- A schnitzel really refers to the preparation of the meat dish — pounding thin with a meat tenderizer, then dipping in some type of breading and frying to a crisp golden exterior.
- Wiener Schnitzel is a proprietary name (from Germany and Austria) and can only be made of veal, otherwise it must denote the type of meat being used… i.e. weiner schnitzel of pork/turkey/chicken.
- A rose by any other name…would smell as sweet. Originating in Austria, schnitzels are beloved in many other countries, but the similarly prepared versions go by other monikers in other regions around the world. In French, these cutlets are known as escalope. In Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina, it’s milanesa. Japan has tonkatsu. In Portugal it’s panado or “breaded”. The list goes on…
So you’ll obviously want to start by cutting the meat for these breaded pork cutlets into 1″ thick slices and pounding it out between two sheets of plastic wrap with your meat mallet. You don’t need to use the jagged edge side of the mallet for this recipe because pork tenderloin is very tender from the start — no need to further abuse it.
Schnitzel Recipes Vary By The Coating
Flour, egg and breadcrumbs are a traditional preparation for many schnitzel recipes, but this one takes a slight jog away from the classic breaded pork cutlets with this tangy savory blend.
Coating Ingredients For Breaded Pork Cutlets:
- Onion Powder
- Dijon Mustard
- Panko Breadcrumbs
Try canola oil or grapeseed oil for frying and make sure you fill your pan to have between 1/8″ to 1/4″ of oil in the bottom. This is a shallow pan fry, but it does the job to get the exterior really crunchy while cooking the meat to doneness. Use a heavy skillet to fry up these breaded pork cutlets (cast iron is always preferred).
A pair of tongs is helpful for turning the breaded pork cutlets — I prefer them to a fork, because a fork stabs the meat and creates openings for the oil to get between the breading and flesh, risking that a chunk of that golden coating could float off into the pan — don’t risk it for your schnitzel recipes.
What to Serve With Pork Schnitzel:
So the burning question of what to serve with pork schnitzel can be as simple or gussied up as you want to make it. Here are some common go-withs and links to their recipes (if needed).
- Slice of Lemon (very common)
- Buttered Noodles
- Steamed Red Potatoes with Parsley
- German Potato Salad
- Mashed Potatoes
- Braised Red Cabbage (shown)
- French Fries
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Crunchy Breaded Pork Cutlets
- 1 pound pork tenderloin trimmed of silver skin and any fat
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup milk or half and half
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley plus extra for serving
- canola oil or grapeseed oil for frying
SET UP THE DREDGING STATION:
- Align three shallow bowls or dishes.
- In the first bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and onion powder, mix to combine and set aside.
- In the second bowl combine the mustard and milk. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the third bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside.
FOR THE CUTLETS:
- Trim the pork tenderloin of any silver skin or fat. Slice the pork crosswise into 1" thick slices.
- Cut a piece of plastic wrap about 12" square and place a piece of pork on the plastic. Fold half of the plastic wrap over the pork and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the pork into 1/4" thick cutlet. Continue with the remaining slices of pork tenderloin.
- Dip the pork into the flour mixture to coat and shake off any excess.
- Transfer the pork to the mustard mixture and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the floured pork.
- Place the pork into the panko mixture, flipping once and pressing the panko into the pork cutlet to coat. Transfer the breaded pork cutlets to a sheet pan in a single layer and prepare to fry them (NOTE: pork can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated until ready to cook later in the day. Remove the cutlets from the refrigerator about half an hour before cooking.)
- In a heavy bottomed skillet or cast iron pan, add enough oil to achieve 1/4" depth in the pan. Heat over medium high heat until the oil is very hot, but not smoking. (To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of bread into the hot oil -- if it immediately bubbles, it's ready.)
- Add the pork cutlets carefully into the pan (don't drop them, they will spatter the hot oil) in a single layer (you'll probably need to work in batches). Fry the pork cutlets on one side for 3-4 minutes or until medium brown/golden brown color, then use a pair of tongs to flip them and continue frying an additional 3-4 minutes until done. Transfer the fried cutlets to a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Continue with the rest of the pork cutlets.
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