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What is a schnitzel? Pork Schnitzels with Rosemary and lemon

Posted on August 19, 2011 by in pork

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What is a schnitzel? My son asked the other night as he was scoffing down the third schnitzel. (Why was I not warned about teenage boys and their appetites?) My daughter was quick to answer: “Man, it is pork with crumbs!” I don’t know where she got her information from, but although she was right, there is more to the schnitzel than just that.
I was quite thrown by the description “pork with crumbs”, after all crumbing something is a labor of love and takes time. It made me think however, how many people out there think about the origin of the food they eat. Where did it come from, the history behind it. For my one radio show, I try and give back ground information of the recipe I am sharing and it has opened my eyes to so many interesting facts about food. With Google at our fingertips, it is not difficult to research and it makes for very interesting discussion around the table while at the same time we broaden our children’s general knowledge. My son participated in a general knowledge quiz the other day and one of the questions was “what is a vinaigrette?” He knew the answer and I was quite chuffed! So next time you serve your family a meal, tell them something interesting about the meal, better still, let themresearch it.

The Schnitzel originates from Austria and is a dish made with boneless meat, usually thinned with a mallet, coated with breadcrumbs and then fried. It forms a very popular part of the Viennese and Austrian cuisines. The Austrians call it Wiener Schnitzel, and it is traditionally served with a few slices of lemon and parsley potatoes. Wiener Schnitzel is usually made from veal, but these days  pork is a popular choice. When made of pork, in Austria, by law it has to be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein so that people will know the difference when they order. The Germans and Austrians felt so passionate about this dish that the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. An age old debate as to where schnitzel originates from, is still going on and some say it is from Milan while others claim it is from Austria. I am not going to join this debate, as long as I know that the schnitzel coming from my kitchen is fresh and good, I’m happy and I know my family will be too.

Rosemary and lemon are perfect partners when it comes to cooking and especially in meat recipes, it just works. Lamb chops, grilled to perfection on the braai , seasoned with rosemary and lemon are just delicious and even with pork chops, the flavor combination is perfect.

Pork Schnitzel with Rosemary and Lemon

Serves 6( some left for lunchbox)


6 big pork cutlets – I use the big leg chops and then remove the bone.
500ml buttermilk
juice of 1 lemon
8 slices of white bread – day old is perfect
a handful of fresh parsley
a few sprigs of rosemary – remove the woody stems
2 cloves of garlic
zest of 2 lemons

Remove the excess fat off the pork chops(keep it for your bean stew), remove the bones and cut the meat in smaller pieces. With a wooden meat mallet, thin the meat until it is about 1 cm thick. Place in a glass dish, season lightly, drizzle with some lemon juice and then cover with the buttermilk. Leave for a couple of hours, overnight is always best.
Preheat oven to 180C
Place all the other ingredients in your food processor and make your flavored crumbs. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. When you are ready to cook the schnitzels, remove the meat from the buttermilk, shaking off the excess and dip the meat cutlets into the breadcrumbs. Place on a greased oven pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the schnitzels have cooked and the crumbs are crisp and golden brown.
Serve with a few lemon wedges and some boiled potatoes with parsley butter. A green salad will work well too.

More recipes with Rosemary and Lemon
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
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5 Responses to “What is a schnitzel? Pork Schnitzels with Rosemary and lemon”

  1. PinkPolkaDot 19 August 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Great recipe, Nins!! I know what I will be cooking tomorrow night!! I cannot see all your pics, but those that I can see is excellent!!

    I love reading and knowing more about food – that is why I so enjoy doing the food quiz!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. That Girl 19 August 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Before studying in Austria I thought all schnitzel were pork!

  3. Jan 20 August 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Love the addition of rosemary and lemon!

  4. Peter 20 August 2011 at 9:31 am #

    To be honest we prepare "Schnitzel Wiener Art" almost the same way.
    There are some marginal differences.
    Put salt and pepper on the meat slices.
    You have to have three plates where you put flour (1), beaten eggs (2) and bread crumbs (3) in. Then one slice into the flour (both sides), shake, then pull it through the beaten eggs and then put it into the bread crumbs and press a little bit, so that you have plenty of crumbs on both sides.
    Now you have to fry the schnitzel in pan with hot butter oil. Fry the schnitzel with medium heat until it is golden brown on both sides. Pork has to be fried well-done.
    We would never put the pork schnitzels into the oven. The meat gets too dry. No one would eat it.

    From Germany

  5. pinkpolkadotfood 22 August 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Nins, The girls were home (only Saturday night) and I made these – it was a hit!!

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