Schnippo – A Childhood Dream

By 4 m read

Finished Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Finished Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

We all have that special food memory from childhood. Maybe it was your first perfect hot dog with ketchup at a friend’s birthday party. Or spaghetti & meatballs on Sunday afternoons at your grandmother’s house. What was yours? And are you still making it?

 

I’ll tell you mine: It’s Schnippo. Readers from the Alpine region of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria know exactly what I’m talking about. As a kid, when you went to a restaurant with your parents and were handed the menu, your eyes immediately went to the bottom right, to the section titled Kindermenü (Kid’s Special). And there it was – that magic word Schnippo. Schnitzel & Pommes Frites.

 

When I got older, I kinda forgot about it until I had a business lunch in Zürich one day and we went to a place famous for its Schnippo. The meat was so huge, it was overlapping the edges of a 12-inch plate. The breading was buttery, fluffy, light, and crisp (that’s an achievement right there…), the french fries were crunchy and perfectly salty, and the mug of lager was ice cold. That’s when I knew I had to bring that childhood magic back into my kitchen and onto my dinner plate.

 

In the meantime, you know what I’m talking about – the famous Wienerschnitzel. It was first mentioned in 1831 in a cookbook published in southern Germany, but the original dish might have originated in northern Italy. Somehow it found its way to eastern Austria and was brought to the attention of emperor Franz Joseph I. He really liked it and named it Wienerschnitzel (Vienna cutlet), maybe. I don’t really care, I’m just thrilled that it originated somewhere in the Alps where I grew up, and it stayed around long enough for me to enjoy it.

 

The classic Wienerschnitzel is made with veal cutlets, but personally, I prefer pork. This is a recipe that I didn’t invent or improve or tweak – this is pretty much the only way to get it done perfectly. There are different opinions regarding fat use – some prefer lard, some clarified butter…I use unsalted butter.

Ingredients for Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Ingredients for Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Wienerschnitzel Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb pork cutlets
  • 6 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Lemon, sliced
  • Parsley
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper, each

So here we go: pat your pork cutlets dry, trim as necessary, and pound them down to 0.2 inches (using a meat pounder or a rolling pin), in other words, very thin. Salt the cutlets and crack some pepper on them. In the meantime, in a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam a little bit.

Dipping Wienerschnitzel in whisked egg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Dipping Wienerschnitzel in whisked egg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Sprinkle the cutlets with flour, dredge through the whisked egg, and roll them in breadcrumbs. Shake off the excessive crumbs and add the cutlet to the pan. Make sure you have enough butter in the pan so the cutlets basically swim in it. This will guarantee that they’ll cook evenly, and your breading won’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Breading Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Breading Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Flip them a couple times. You can also scoop up some butter and drizzle it over the meat while it’s cooking. The cutlets are done when they reach a nice golden yellow, after about 5 minutes.

Cooking Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Cooking Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Pour some of the pan juices over the cutlets and serve with a slice of lemon and some parsley. That’s the “Schni” part of Schnippo. The “Po” stands for pommes frites (french fries).

I want to see pictures of your Schnippo!  Please post 🙂

Finished Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Finished Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

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Finished Wienerschnitzel (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Wienerschnitzel

We all have that special food memory from childhood. I’ll tell you mine: Wienerschnitzel.  This is the way to get it done perfectly.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 lb pork cutlets
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Parsley
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper, each

Instructions
 

  • Pat pork cutlets dry, trim as necessary, and pound them down to 0.2 inches (using a meat pounder or a rolling pin), in other words, very thin. 
  • Salt the cutlets and crack some pepper on them. 
  • In the meantime, in a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam a little bit.
  • Sprinkle the cutlets with flour, dredge through the whisked egg, and roll them in breadcrumbs.
  • Shake off the excessive crumbs and add the cutlet to the pan. Make sure you have enough butter in the pan so the cutlets basically swim in it. This will guarantee that they’ll cook evenly, and your breading won’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Flip them a couple of times. You can also scoop up some butter and drizzle it over the meat while it’s cooking.
  • The cutlets are done when they reach a nice golden yellow, after about 5 minutes.
  • Pour some of the pan juices over the cutlets and serve with a slice of lemon and some parsley. 

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2 Comments
  • Jennifer Safino-Apgar
    March 2, 2019

    What’s better then Wienerschnitzel on a cold snowy Sat.? Thx you Erich

    • maplewoodroad
      March 4, 2019

      So glad you like it! Thanks!