Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mandy's Bytes: Jäger-Schnitzel

As you might have noticed from the Bitchin' Cookies recipe, I don't always follow recipes very closely. And sometimes I don't even really use one. Today's post doesn't have a recipe per se, it's more like a set of guild-lines and you can make it work for you however you need to. Schnitzel is traditionally made with veal cutlets (wiener schnitzel) but this recipe uses pork, technically making it schweine schnitzel. Specifically this is Jäger-Schnitzel, which strictly speaking isn't supposed to be breaded, but it's yummy that way.
- Pork chops
- Eggs
- Milk
- Bread crumbs
- Mushroms
- Onion
- Butter
- Gravy Packet
- Sour cream

I didn't include measurements, because it really depends on how much you want to make, and your personal preference on onion and mushroom proportions. The amounts I mention in this post make enough for two to four servings. First you can chop one medium sized onion into large slices and slice the mushrooms however thick you like. I bought 1 pound of pre-sliced mushrooms this time and they were a little thicker than I like, but no harm done. Set these aside.
Next is the fun part, tenderizing the pork chops. Since Schnitzel uses very thin pieces of meat you need to really beat up on them, so if you've had a stressful week this is a great meal idea. They should be about 1/4-1/8 inch think by the time you're done with them.

After you've tenderized the meat, set up your breading stations. One egg and about a tablespoon of milk is more than enough for four chops, and I like to use an edged baking pan for the breadcrumbs to avoid making a huge mess. First dredge the meat in the egg and milk mixture and then coat it with breadcrumbs.

After the pork chops are breaded and ready, set them aside, and get your pans prepared. I like to put about 2 tablespoons of butter in each pan, you can use oil or whatever fat you prefer. Heat both pans to med-high. In one pan place the pork chops, and brown each side. After browning turn the head down to medium.

In the other pan sautee the mushrooms and onions, I usually end up adding another tablespoon or so of butter after they are coated. Cook these until the mushrooms are tender and slightly browned, and the onions are translucent. Now it is time to the make the gravy, you can make your own gravy from the pork drippings if you like, otherwise set the pork chops aside on low heat.

In the mushroom pan turn the heat down to medium-low, push the vegetables to one side of the pan and mix the gravy according to the packet instructions in the cleared space. One packet is enough for four servings. After the powder is well mixed with the water, or broth if you like, stir the mushrooms and onions back in. The final touch is to stir in a dollop of sour cream, I use a pretty generous "dollop", because I love sour cream.

I swear there's a pork chop under there somewhere.
Serve up the pork chops with a few nice big spoonfulls of gravy and enjoy. I served this with a green bean side that is beyond simple. I steamed some fresh green beans for about 7 minutes, sauteed them with butter and garlic, added a splash of balsamic vinegar to simmer for a couple minutes and topped them with feta cheese. Jäger-Schnitzel is also great with fries to mop up any extra gravy, yum.

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