Terrified even. I’d rather make a curry for an Indian Maharani, than a Wiener Schnitzel for ANYONE. The reason is the attitude, with which Austrians (who naturally can make Schnitzel since birth) say: “I make Wiener Schnitzel.” They make it sound like: “I do Nordschleife and Grand Prix Track in 8 minutes”. That’s truly Olympian.
The “Schnitzelcandoers” make it sound as if there is some magic to it, some genetically transported trick, which you, as a low commoner will never find out about. (I’m probably exaggerating, but challenge an Austrian to his Schnitzel, and hell is loose!)
That’s how I feel about it and our skiing holidays are the perfect opportunity to face fear and find out: The quest for the one and only, true, unequalled, Wiener schnitzel.
Luckily the hotel we stay in is renowned, even by the locals, for the best Schnitzel in town. Everyone is drooling just by the thought of it.
For all I knew it had to be crispy golden on the outside, tender on the inside, made with razor thin veal and fried in loads of butter. Most of youprobably know more: but not anymore, because I have artfully wriggled my way into their professional kitchen!
The kind and generous Chief de Cuisine, Christian, has offered to share the art of making Wiener Schnitzel in his huge, big, shiny, professional Kitchen. (very exciting, I’ve never been in one!) via a quick and exclusive schnitzel workshop for me and our friends.
The most important thing is the Quality of meat: we used the best lean topside of veal, (Kaiserteil: “emperors part.” in German), placed on a cutting board, covered with some thick foil and beat it with a hammer, working from the inside to the outside to flatten it evenly.
It was then sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Christian, had prepared three bowls to dip the meat in: the first with a rough sort of flour (Number 480, just in case you get hold of it anywhere else), the second with beaten eggs and some milk and the third with finely ground breadcrumbs.
The meat was lightly turned in the first flour, dipped into the egg bath and then into the breadcrumbs.
Meanwhile he put a lot of clarified butter (the Indian ghee is a very similar thing, try it and let me know if it works, please) in a big frying pan, till it totally covered the bottom by about 1 cm.
He tested the heat of the fat by throwing in some breadcrumbs, as soon as they started to form bubbles he placed the meat in the pan and shoved it carefully back and forth, to cover the entire piece with hot foaming fat, browning it into a handsome golden Wiener Delicacy.
Turning it once, he finally placed in on a kitchen towel to absorb the fat and served it with Lemon and Preiselbeergelee (“lingonberry” jam, you could use cranberry jelly).
This is truly a wasteful dish, as you can use the fat for not more than three schnitzels, after which you have to throw out the oil and start afresh. This is because the loose breadcrumbs will start burning.
Thank you, Christian for sharing this with us, our group of friend had a delightful hour in your kitchen, what with all the beating and banging and frying the giggling and the pling pling of your kitchen.
We can say now:” I know how to make a Wiener schnitzel”, making it sound Olympian.