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Wiener Schnitzel / Vienna Schnitzel / Veal Schnitzel at home? Deep Fry or Pan Fry?

I finally started to appreciate Wiener Schnitzel while in Germany and now I'm back in the UK I thought I should try cooking at home.

1. Are they usually pan fried or Deep Fried?

2. What is the best cut of veal to use?

3. Can one also use Rosé Veal? (slightly older cattle than milk fed veal).

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  1. 1) I have tried both ways. You need to pan fry. This helps excess moisture come out. (Alton Brown discusses this in a show on chicken.)
    2) I just get 'veal cutlets' from the store -- that is about all they have in the way of veal anymore around here.
    3) I have never tried it.

    1. 1. Pan fried at home....most restaurants will deep fry for convenience, unless it's finer dining.

      2. Most escallops store bought and in commercial applications will be from the leg.....however, if you want to splurge, use a Rib Chop and pound thin.

      3. You certainly could use Rose Veal......or even pork. I know many who prefer the latter for taste.

      1. I generally use pounded kosher chicken breasts, as I can't get humane veal around here.

        I pan-fry with a mix of oil & butter, the cutlets are seasoned & floured, egg-washed, and then panko-ed. Comes out golden-brown, crispy and delicious. Add a generous squeeze of lemon.

        7 Replies
        1. re: linguafood

          Exactly! I think chicken breasts are a wonderful substitute for veal. Sometimes I pound them thin, other times I buy the thin-sliced breasts. Panko makes a wonderful breading. I bread the cutlets just as you do, then I chill them in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking. I think it helps the breading adhere. A sprinkle of capers, a squeeze of lemon, and you're good to go.

          1. re: CindyJ

            That's interesting about the fridge chilling. I'm always nervous to leave the cutlets in their breading too long for fear of it getting too moist. Even when I just use seasoned flour for other pan-fried meats, once they're floured, they go in the pan pronto.

            So they don't lose their crispiness at all when they sit in the fridge for an hour? And then you gotta take 'em out again about a 1/2 hour beforehand to get them to room temperature? Whoa.

            I already rarely make Wiener Schnitzel b/c it is *such* a PITA.... I don't know that I could calculate another 3 hours before dinner time into the prep.

            1. re: linguafood

              No, they don't lose their crispiness, and no, you don't need to bring them to room temp before cooking them because the cutlets are thin and cook through quickly and evenly. It's hardly a 3-hour lead time. I set up a "breading station" -- flour, egg, bread crumbs in side-by-side plates, and it goes pretty quickly. Just make sure your oil is hot enough (but not TOO hot) before you add the meat to the pan -- I usually drop a crumb or two of the breading into the pan and look for the "sizzle" to know when the pan is ready.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Well, I obviously have those stations, too (I use bowls, though -- less mess), I just generally do all that stuff *right* before I plonk them in the hot oil/butter mix. But then I also never had a problem of the breading adhering.

                I just wish I didn't have to use up 5 plates/bowls before dinner is even served '-)

                1. re: linguafood

                  I use paper plates. Do a quick rinse and use for cat food plates later.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I often use heavy duty paper plates for the flour and bread crumbs. Saves on the cleanup.

                    As for the breading adhering -- I never had a problem with that, either. But what I find with the chilling is that the breading is less likely to separate from the meat while it's being cut up and eaten.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      I'll have to try that method next time I'm craving crispy-crunchy-golden goodness :-)

          2. 1) Pan frying is the best technique and do not feel beholden to vegetable oil. Schnitzel cooked in bacon fat, lard or butter can be very delicious.
            2) You can use any boneless cut of veal, pounded thin into cutlets.
            3) As others have said, you can substitute chicken breast, pork loin or turkey (though in those instances you technically have "Schnitzel Wiener Art") so there is no problem using Rosé veal for schnitzel.

            1. It is originally an Austrian dish and I think is best pan fried. Good veal is so expensive, I would use pork or chicken. Pound either very thinly and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and allow to sit about 30 mins before breading and pan frying. Serve with additional lemon slices.
              One of my favorite dishes and you can make it just as good as they do in Austria...very easy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gail

                I like turkey for faux veal schnitzel. When turkey is pounded into submission its texture becomes appropriately gelatinous, and once it's breaded and fried it's hard to differentiate the taste.

                1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                  With turkey it's important to remove all fat, not that there's that much, but a little turkey fat supplies a whole lot of turkey flavor.

              2. pan fried, and don't forget the capers and chopped egg!
                Someone was talking about fried capers on another thread, which I think I will try next time I do schnitzel.

                1. You'll want to pan fry the schnitzel in lard or bacon drippings.

                  As for the meat; you can use any of the inexpensive, tougher, and leaner cuts of chicken/pork/beef/veal, provided that you've whooped said meat into submission.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: deet13

                    The WAYYYY too lean pork loin you can get in cryovac bags for cheap comes into its own here. Slice about 3/4" thick, pound to half that, season well and let sit for a while. Then do your breading routine and start frying. Thing is, these are delicious at any temperature and however long they've sat around, but as the author of the cookbook I got my recipe from (Tessa Kiros, in "Falling Cloudberries") said, you'll probably never get to find out how long they last because they tend to disappear really fast.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      After hunting season, I use a similar technique when I make schnitzel out of venison backstrap.

                      Cut slices off of the backstrap about 2/3 of an inch thick.
                      Then soak the cutlets in buttermilk for 30 minutes or so, and then pat them dry.
                      After that, pound them as flat as possible (approx. 1/3 inch thick) with a rolling pin or a small cast-iron pan.
                      Bread the cutlets, and then pan fry them until it turns a nice dark brown.
                      Plate the schnitzel, and top it with a couple of anchovies, a fried egg, and some capers.
                      Drain the fat out of the pan, and deglaze it for a nice gravy.
                      Serve with a side of spaetzle smothered with the gravy, braised red cabbage and apples, some bread, and a couple of liters of good lager.

                      1. re: deet13

                        I like that a lot, except for the toppings. The Buttermilk here is the trick, it really tenderizes the meat/venison and imparts nice flavor.
                        Hunting season starts on the 26. in NE PA :-)

                        1. re: RUK

                          Buttermilk works with any meat; but with wild game it works wonders. It turns tough, gamey venison/boar/elk/bear slices of meat into mild (relatively speaking) and tender cutlets.

                          Our general deer season is kicking off tomorrow down in south Florida. We're just waiting for the temperature to drop a few more degrees (the cold kills mosquitoes), then we're off to harvest a few does and rabbits.

                          My wife was talking about making alligator schnitzel, but I'm not too certain that the meat would be able to take the pounding.

                  2. all of the above.

                    pan-fried, as we're not going for KFC here.

                    my favorite German restaurant in the US (so far) - Suppenkuche, uses pork loin "veal is too political" ehh whatever, it's still good. and if you use veal, roseate is just as good as milk-fed and a tad more 'humane'.

                    1. Veal, otherwise it cannot legally be called "Wiener Schnitzel" in Germany or Austria. And "Rosé" is fine, in fact it will have more taste.

                      Pound thin, dust with salt/pepper/flour, dip into a mixture of egg yolk and cream (lightly beaten) and breadcrumbs. Pan-fry slowly in generous amounts of butter, spooning the butter over the Schnitzel all the time. The classic décor is a slice of de-rinded lemon with an anchovis filet and a few capers. Now this one is a hot topic of debate among Schnitzel-lovers...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ZoeLouise

                        what time can I come over, I'll bring side dish or wine, or heck if earlier a calf if you have the facilities.

                        1. re: ZoeLouise

                          While non-veal schnitzel is supposed to be called Wiener Art, I doubt anyone's ever been sued for calling a pork, chicken or other cutlet Wiener Schnitzel. It's pretty much on every menu in Germany or Austria these days, and even in Austria, most schnitzel you'll get is >gasp< pork.

                        2. Another for Pan Frying.

                          1. Yowza, pan fry for sure.

                            I lived on a kibbutz and worked in the kitchen. A favorite dish was weiner schnitzel, sometimes make with pork (proudly nonreligious kibbutz). Always run through a cool machine that pounded and smashed, then dipped in egg/milk and flour, then pan fried. So good. Now, I add some smoked paprika and garlic powder to the flour.

                            1. Pan fry. I normally use pork tenderloin, cut in 3/4 inch thickness, then pounded thin. You could use your hand or one of those tenderizer mallets. Dip in salted and peppered flour then egg then breadcrumbs (actually, panko works pretty well for this). Delicious.