The perfect recipe for a classic dish.
"Ah! an Austrian comfort food classic – don’t mess with it. It gets served the same way in every place in Vienna – white plate with the schnitzel flowing off the side of the plate, a wedge of lemon, cranberry compote and potato salad on the side. To the uninitiated, it might seem like a big chicken nugget, but there is an art and nuance to it and the Austrians will die arguing over the best schnitzel." – Gareth Smith
Yield: Serves: 4
- 500g/1lbs schmaltz or pork lard
- 4 veal escalopes, pounded with a meat hammer until 5mm thick
- 150g/5oz plain flour
- 2 beaten eggs, with a smidgen of Dijon mustard
- 300g/10oz dried fine breadcrumbs
- 4 lemon wedges
- 4 spoons cranberry compote
For Austrian potato salad
- 1kg/2lbs waxy potatoes, smaller potatoes work best
- 30g/1oz butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 200ml warm vegetable broth
- 75ml/2fl oz white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 teaspoon tarragon mustard
- 80ml/3fl oz vegetable oil/rapeseed oil
- 4 sprigs flat parsley for garnish
- Cranberry Sauce
- Heat the lard in a hot frying pan, and whilst this is heating, season and dredge the escalopes in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs – if doing larger quantities of schnitzels, it’s great to have two pans on the go at the same time.
- Fry the schnitzels whilst swirling the oil a bit (carefully). The swirling creates little waves, which gives the cooked schnitzel a characteristic ruffled look.
- Serve simply with a sprinkling of salt, a wedge of lemon and a spoon of cranberry compote.
- To make the salad, simmer the potatoes gently for 25-30 minutes until tender but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and cut them into coin sized slices. Set aside in a big bowl.
- Heat butter in a pan over a medium heat, add diced onion and cook until translucent, three to four minutes.
- Deglaze the onion with vinegar. Add broth, sugar and salt.
- Bring the liquid to a boil and allow it to cook over a low to medium heat for two minutes, creating a little dressing, slowly adding the oil.
- Toss the potatoes with the dressing, check the seasoning – it might need a touch of salt.
- Cover the bowl with a lid and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes so the potatoes are able to absorb some of the dressing.
Tip: For a nice puffy schnitzel, make sure the escalopes are sliced across the grain (your butcher will know what this means). This helps create a steam within the breadcrumbs, making them expand nicely. Also, only breadcrumb the minute before serving!