it makes no sense at all, but when in france, we usually make a wiener schnitzel. why, you (rightly) ask, in france? it’s simple: our local butcher in the village where we live (he’s a good butcher, i shall mention. the butcher-madame wears her full set of jewelry, from pearls to diamonds and gold rings, to work. which doesn’t necessarily help the point, hu? but still, believe me, it’s just a fantastic butcher, that will disassemble and chop up the cow right in front of your eyes, to sell you exactly the piece of the cow for the exact steak you were looking for). and yes, the butcher sells really good veal cutlets to us. because he likes us (well, probably, he won’t only sell good veal just to us… but, you see, we like to believe that he does). anyway, so we’ve got this really good veal cutlets – in france – so here goes our wiener schnitzel (or ‘viennese style veal cutlets’, if you prefer).
wiener schnitzel – viennese style veal cutlets
4 veal cutlets of about 200g each (if you are lucky to get big ones, otherwise just opt for some more smaller ones)
1 cup dried breadcrumbs, very fine
1 cup all-purpose flour
300g (or more…) butter
1dl (or more…) sunflower or peanut oil
salt and pepper
lemon slices, freshly cut
potatoe salad as a side dish
if you are lucky (like we are when in france) to get really good, really tender and nonetheless very big veal cutlets, then you won’t have to tenderize (implying: brutally beat up) the cutlets… no, no such thing. you will just have to prepare three deep plates for the ‘panade’ (i believe it’s called ‘breading’?); i.e. one with flour, one with the eggs, stirred well with a fork and seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and the third one with the breadcrumbs.
(excursus on the breadcrumbs: we used old baguette that we lay out to dry properly a few days ahead, and then simply crush it by hand. but of course, you can also use a conventional breadcrumbs-version, i.e. from a boulanger or a supermarket. it’s up to you, and we don’t care. but the schnitzels would probably prefer a home-made version. i’m just saying…)
then you’re ready for ‘brading’: lightly cover the schnitzels with flour from all sides, then dip into the egg mix and finally coat in bread crumbs. easy! meanwhile, heat a large pan with (a lot of!) butter and oil (i’m sorry, but it is absolutely essential that you are not counting calories right here. otherwise forget about the wiener schnitzel, alltogether). make sure the fat is really hot, too. then fry the schnitzels on both sides until golden brown and crispy / fluffy. frying time should not be more than about 4 minutes on each side, i guess. make sure to ‘shake’ the pan regularly, so that the fat covers the schnitzel from all sides. a good schnitzel also develops sort of blisters on top (i wouln’d know how else to express it?). blisters. and then it’s a relly good schnitzel, yes. remove the schnitzels and put on kitchen towels (to absorb the excess fat, which nobody needs, really).
serve the wiener schnitzel on a warmed plate, preferably with a slice of lemon, some fried parsley and potatoes or potatoe salad (as we had it). and be delighted by the french-austrian reunion.vive la france!