Schnitzel is a classic German and Austrian food that can vary here and there, but it always involves some sort of meat that's pounded thin, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried to perfection. Common American variations of schnitzel include chicken fried steak, crispy chicken cutlets, and this pork cutlet recipe, brought to us by recipe developer Deniz Vergara. "My favorite thing about this recipe is that it reminds me of my grandma," Vergara says of her close connection to this dish. "She was born in Vienna and is an amazing cook. I always loved when she made schnitzel for dinner, so I tried recreating it."
If you, too, have a beloved family member in your life who makes a good schnitzel, then you may be so inclined to master a version of your own. Luckily, this recipe is ideal for those who have never made schnitzel or pork cutlets before, as it involves easy-to-source ingredients and requires no special equipment — you'll do the frying in a simple skillet or pot. Whether you want to tap into some nostalgia like Vergara or get creative with dinner, this schnitzel-style pork cutlet recipe is sure to please the whole table.
Read more: What To Do With Leftover Pork Loin
Gather The Ingredients For Schnitzel-Style Pork Cutlets
You'll of course need some pork cutlets to kick things off, along with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper for seasoning. You'll dredge the cutlets in 3 different mixtures: The first one is flour and salt, the next is an egg and a bit of water, and the third is a combination of regular breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, salt, and garlic powder. "I personally love the combination of panko and regular breadcrumbs," Vergara says. "The regular breadcrumbs stick really well, while the panko adds a crispier and lighter crust."
Finally, you'll need some avocado oil for frying the cutlets, which is a crucial step to get them nice and crispy. And, to add some brightness to the final dish, Vergara strongly suggests having some lemon wedges on hand for serving.
Pound And Season The Pork Cutlets
Grab a large cutting board and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Lay the cutlets out on top of the plastic wrap, then place another sheet on top of them. Use a meat mallet to pound the cutlets until they're nice and thin, about ¼ inch thick. "It is important to pound the pork nice and thin," Vergara advises. "That is key for this recipe." Otherwise, they wouldn't be cutlets, and they certainly wouldn't be schnitzel-style. Once you've thinned out your cutlets, go ahead and season them with ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and a teaspoon of black pepper.
Set Up Your Station And Dredge The Cutlets
Now that the pork is ready to go, you can set up your dredging station. Into the first bowl, add the flour and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat the egg and 2 teaspoons water together in the second bowl. Finally, in the third bowl, mix together the panko, regular breadcrumbs, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
You'll start by dredging each cutlet in the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. Be sure to tap off the excess flour after the first step, let any extra egg drip off in the second, and press any loose crumbs into the pork on both sides in the third step, something that Vergara notes will make the cutlets nice and crispy.
Fry The Pork Cutlets
Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat and add in the avocado oil, allowing it to heat up to 350 F. Keep in mind that your cutlets don't need to be fully submerged in the oil when they go in the skillet, but you definitely want a good amount of fat to ensure they get nice and crispy. Vergara uses ¼ cup oil, but the amount you need may vary depending on the size of your pan.
Once the oil is up to temperature, carefully add in the cutlets and allow them to fry for an initial 3 minutes or so. Flip them and fry for a few more minutes, or until the cutlets are golden brown all over and the pork is cooked through. As you remove the cutlets from the oil, place them onto paper towels to remove any excess oil. If you're working in batches, repeat the process until all of the cutlets are fried, and make sure your oil stays around 350 F for the entirety of the cooking period.
Vergara also notes that you can keep the cutlets warm in the oven as you work through them in batches. If you choose to do so, have your oven preheated to 250 F, which will keep the meat nice and toasty.
Serve These Schnitzel-Style Pork Cutlets With Fresh Lemon
These schnitzel-style pork cutlets are best served right away so you can enjoy that crispy fried goodness at its freshest — and don't forget the fresh lemon wedges when serving. "I highly recommend serving schnitzel with a lemon wedge and squeezing it on when you are ready to eat because the acid cuts through the fat and gives a burst of flavor," Vergara explains.
And, if you're looking to round out the meal a bit, Vergara says, "I love serving these over an arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette or with homemade mashed potatoes, depending on if I'm looking for a lighter meal or one that is more comforting." The choice is up to you, but the good news is that there are no wrong answers when the main course is this good.
Schnitzel-Style Pork Cutlets Recipe
Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 12mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients
1 pound boneless pork cutlets
2 ½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup avocado oil, or more as needed for pan-frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
Line a cutting board with plastic wrap and place the pork cutlets on top in a single layer. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, then pound the cutlets with a meat mallet until they are ¼ inch thick.
Season the pork with ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and black pepper.
Set up 3 bowls. In the first, combine the flour and ½ teaspoon salt.
In the second, use a fork to beat the egg and water.
In the third bowl, combine both types of breadcrumbs, remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and remaining 1 ¼ teaspoon salt.
Dredge each pork cutlet in flour, tapping off any excess, then coat them in the egg mixture. Finally, cover them with the breadcrumbs, pressing the mixture into the pork on both sides to ensure crispiness.
Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat to 350 F.
Fry the pork cutlets for 3 minutes on each side, until golden. Set aside on a paper towel to drain. (If working in batches, you can optionally keep the cutlets warm in a 250 F oven.)
Serve the cutlets right away with lemon wedges on the side, if desired.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.