Pork Schnitzel


More meat and two veg. This time, German classic Schweineschnitzel, to use up the remaining cheap pork chops I had in the fridge. An authentic German friend showed me how to make this in authentic German style so it’s as authentic as my authentic Irish Stew! I fed this to a hungry Austrian girl that was staying with me for a few days on her travels and she nearly wept with joy. It is hard not to enjoy a well made schnitzel, unless you’re a vegetarian of course.

There are many variations on how to go about creating the perfect schnitzel but the basics are always the same.


Pork Schnitzel


  • Pork chops
  • Plain flour
  • An egg or two depending on the amount of schnitzel you are making
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil for the frying
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  1. If your pork chops are moist pat them dry with kitchen towels. With a sharp knife trim any fat from them, normally the presence of fat adds to the taste and I wouldn't remove it but for this dish fat doesn’t work so get rid of as much as you can. If you are using cheap meat which may be from an animal that was fed hormones and so on, the chemical residues accumulate in the fat so it’s a good idea to get rid of it anyway. (I’m not making this sound very appetising am I?) I am assuming your chops are boneless, if they are not, cut out the bone as you have to bash the chops to make them skinny. Place the pork chops on a clean surface or board, ideally you should put them between two pieces of cling film to stop battered pork juice from flying about your kitchen. Use the flat side of a meat mallet, or a frying pan or even your fists if you are feeling particularly outraged about something, to pound them until they are around 5mm or a quarter of an inch thick.

    Season your chops (or what are now escalopes) with salt and pepper.

    Get three plates or wide bowls ready for your schnitzel production line. In the first you have plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper. The next has beaten egg and the third has breadcrumbs. Some people like to use panko which is a Japanese ultra crispy breadcrumb product and this does give a nice result but I find panko to be quite elusive in Dublin so plain old breadcrumbs are fine. ‘Where exactly do I get plain old breadcrumbs?’ I hear some of you say. Well you can make your own by blitzing stale or toasted bread in a processor but realistically it’s easiest just to buy them from the supermarket and keep them in the freezer until you need them.

    Dip your chops first in the seasoned flour making sure they are coated on all sides, then dip them in the egg which acts like glue so the breadcrumbs will stick when you dip them into the third bowl. Almost every recipe I have read insists you should not press the breadcrumbs onto the pork. I am guilty of doing this when I find a bald patch and it doesn’t seem to have a detrimental effect on the finished product.

    Now, using a tongs, gently lower your breaded chops into a frying pan of hot oil. You want quite a lot of oil in your pan, the chops should be swimming in oil but not drowning. The oil should be sizzling up the sides of the meat and lapping over the top. It is important the oil is hot. If it is not the breadcrumbs will go soggy and it just won't be very nice. If it is too hot the breadcrumbs will burn before the meat is cooked. Kitchen thermometers are something I have just never gotten into, so the way I judge temperature is to simply keep an eye on the oil as it heats up and throw a breadcrumb in occasionally to see what happens. When the breadcrumb sizzles as it hits the oil you are ready to go, if you get distracted and the oil is popping and smoking it is way too hot and you are in danger of a nasty kitchen fire so do take care. My brother was making chips at home one time and a friend of his rang the doorbell. A fairly destructive chip pan fire ensued and my brother picked up some nasty burns. The insurance company paid up though and we got a nice new kitchen out of it and my brother survived unscathed to fry another day.

    Fry your schnitzels for a few minutes on each side until they go a lovely golden toasted kind of colour. Take them out of the oil and place on some kitchen paper to drain and rest. They will happily sit there waiting if you are feeding friends or family and are frying more but keep them warm in a low oven if you are making loads of them. My German friend used to eat these cold for breakfast so you are really not under time pressure with this dish.

    Serve up with lemon wedges and squeeze the juice on to the schnitzel just before you tuck in. Delicious.

    You can serve these with whatever you like in the way of carbs and veg. I made a quick potato salad using leftover spuds with some chopped spring onions, mayonnaise, salt and pepper stirred through and some quickly boiled green beans from the freezer.

    There are many variations on this dish and what you can serve with it which you can investigate yourself using the power of google. It is traditionally served with spaetzle which is a noodley kind of thing common in Germany and Austria. I have never had restaurant quality spaetzle so I can’t really say what that might be like but I can tell you I did go to the trouble of making my own one time and the result was totally underwhelming and not worth the effort.

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