The true origin of Wiener schnitzel may very well not be Vienna but the Viennese are indeed proud to say that it belongs to one of their best known culinary specialties.
A true Wiener Schnitzel is a breaded cutlet of veal served with a lemon wedge to add some extra zing and if you’re luck a side of cranberry sauce. It’s dipped in flour, egg, and bread crumbs, then fried in butter or fat until it’s golden brown. Actually, make sure your schnitzel swims in hot fat. I use oil, but even better is real fat. Lard, clarified butter, or duck or goose fat.
A note to those who are not so familiar with Austrian or German cuisine…Wiener schnitzel, by definition, is made with veal…ONLY veal. Any other version using pork or chicken, but prepared in the same way is named “Wiener Art”, which means it was prepared like a Wiener Schnitzel, but is not veal. A sheep in wolf’s clothing. So, if you are going to make it, make it with veal, first and foremost — organic and humanely raised veal of course. It tastes the best! Otherwise, choose pork loin, then maybe chicken or perhaps turkey.
Go ahead and make lots: the cutlets are super delicious eaten cold in a sandwich the next day.
Traditional Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Veal Cutlet)
- 4 organic veal cutlets (alternatively, use chicken or turkey)
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons cream (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup flour (100 g)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (150 g)
- Enough oil, lard, butter or duck fat to completely cover the bottom of your skillet (if you want to do it the traditional way, then use enough to come up to 1 cm of the sides of your skillet)
- 1-2 lemons, sliced into wedges
Between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound the meat out into a very flat cutlet, a little less than a centimeter thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Whisk together cream and eggs in a bowl with a fork.
Set up a breading station. Put the flour on a large plate. Do the same for the egg mixture, and the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil or fat in the frying pan and turn the heat to medium-high. When the fat is hot, coat each schnitzel on both side with flour, shaking off any excess. Then dredge it through the egg, and then the breadcrumbs, ensuring that no part of the schnitzel remains dry.
Immediately put the breaded cutlet into the hot fat; shaking the skillet a little to make sure the schnitzel does not stick to the bottom.
Depending on the thickness or type of meat, fry for between 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
Transfer to a plate and garnish with slices of lemon before serving. Terrific served with homemade cranberry sauce. Enjoy!
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