Surprisingly, the best pork schnitzel or schweineschnitzel I’ve had was not in Germany. We were more about the pork shank or schweinshaxe in our dining endeavors. However, I had great pork schnitzel and spaetzle at a restaurant here in San Antonio called Maverick. Perfectly crispy with a tart lemon caper sauce and the schnitzel was almost the size of the plate. It was incredible and so I set out to recreate it. This is also another dish I would serve for Valentine’s Day at home. It’s comforting, but elegant and will be so impressive to whoever has the pleasure of dining with you.
History of Pork Schnitzel
Schnitzel is a popular German (and really all over Europe) dish comprised of a breaded and fried meat cutlet. You often see it with veal or pork, but chicken is also popular and it’s my preference for summer. The meat is pounded thin and breaded in a mix of breadcrumbs or panko and quickly fried. Schnitzel is popular in Germany, Austria, and Italy as well as other areas of Europe.
How to Make pork schnitzel and Spaetzle
This recipe looks like a lot of work, but I promise, it’s easier than it looks and you will be so impressed with the flavors.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Pork. I’m using a pork ribeye here because it has a little more fat and flavor. I highly recommend this cut if you haven’t tried it before. You can also swap in boneless pork chops or pork loin but it will be leaner.
- Breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are really the best here for crunch and texture. You can use regular unseasoned breadcrumbs if that’s what you have.
- Flour and eggs. Instead of dipping the cutlets into flour, egg, and then panko, I like to whisk together the eggs and flour. The breadcrumbs stick better and it’s one less dish I have to dirty.
- Lemon. I’m using lemon in the sauce as well as serving with lemon to squeeze on the pork. It’s traditional and the acid complements the meat so well!
- Dijon. Dijon is also a traditional ingredient in pork schnitzel and I’m using it in the batter for the pork before breading it.
- Buttermilk. Buttermilk gives the spaetzle a nice tang, but you can use regular milk if that’s what you have.
How to butterfly Pork
Butterflying pork is so easy and makes less mess than trying to pound it out. Put your pork ribeye on a clean cutting board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the meat. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Open the ribeye like a butterfly, you should now have one larger piece of pork that is much thinner than it was before. If you find that one side is thicker than the other, you can gently pound it out to the same thickness.
Making pork schnitzel and spaetzle ahead of time
I know this may seem like a labor-intensive meal, but here are some do-ahead tips so you can still get this on the table on a weeknight.
- Freeze your breaded pork. You can easily butterfly your pork ahead of time to make the process easier. Even further than that, batter and bread your pork ahead of time and freeze them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can fry your pork from frozen, just crank the heat up to 400 degrees F and cook for a few extra minutes.
- Make your spaetzle and refrigerate. Your spaetzle can be made ahead of time! Just toss with oil so that the pieces don’t stick together and keep them in a large ziplock bag in the fridge. When it’s time for dinner, you can melt your butter, toss the spaetzle in it and then add parsley and lemon. Boom, done!
If you’re still feeling lost with the recipe, check out my Instagram highlights where I make the recipe from start to finish!
Pork Schnitzel and Spaetzle FAQs
What’s the difference between schnitzel and milanese?
Schnitzel is usually made with pork or veal and Milanese is usually made with chicken. Milanese also has parmesan mixed into the breading.
Is schnitzel pork or chicken?
It can be both! I’ve got recipes for both and I love them equally.
OTHER RECIPES TO TRY
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