6 June 2012

Pork Schnitzels - bless you!

These schnitzels (gesundheit!) were what was responsible for the whole veal thing kicking off.  You see, originally, we wanted veal instead of pork so as to make the proper Wiener Schnitzel.  However because affordable veal is as rare as rocking horse poo, we had to think laterally and our second choice was pork.

Hubby has, owing to his triumphant premiere with the Smoked Haddock Fishcakes, discovered that pannéing is not so difficult.  So now a whole world of egg & breadcrumbed foodstuffs lay at his feet, just waiting for him to indulge.

Double coated and ready to cook
We had a long and involved conversation about which pork cut to use for the schnitzels, but as this was his first go at them, we decided to forgo our local butcher's good pork and opted for some pork escalopes from the supermarket.  They did the job very well and at around £3.50, were pretty affordable too.  However, next time, hubby says he'll go for some pork steaks from the butcher and break out his meat hammer.

Having pannéd the escalopes the once, he decided to go for two layers of egg and breadcrumbs, which I think worked very well indeed.  Because the escalopes are so thin, they stand the chance of drying out in the pan when they're being cooked.  I can't help but think that the added buffer of another layer of protection from the heat helped to seal in the juices and keep them soft and tender.

Chuckling in the pan
Hubby served the schnitzels with a tasty potato salad made with Jersey Royals, a few capers, some parsley, chives and a mix of mayonnaise and greek yoghurt.   Son & heir, who isn't a great fan of potato salad, declared it to be the best potato salad he's had to date, which is quite some accolade.

We also had some buttered corn on the cob and some sliced Little Gem lettuce (for a bit of green), which actually went down very well together.

I thought this was a really tasty and satisfying weekday meal - but then I did have seconds!

PORK SCHNITZELS  (serves 3-4)

Ingredients :

4 pork escalopes around 400g total weight
breadcrumbs made from a half a French Baguette (or equivalent amount of breadcrumbs of your choice)
1 tsp paprika
half a tsp cayenne pepper
half a tsp dried basil
half a tsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
plain flour for dusting.

Method :

1.  If using the French Baguette for breadcrumbs, cut into rough chunks and blitz in a food processor.  Season the crumbs with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.  Spread them out onto a shallow baking sheet and put into very low (90deg) oven to dry out and toast a little.

2.  Remove the breadcrumbs and allow them to cool.  Once cool, add the paprika, cayenne, basil, oregano and mix to combine on flat baking sheet, ready for the panéing process.

3.  On a chopping board, cover one escalope with cling film and then flatten with rolling pin or meat hammer to around half a centimetre thick (or thinner if you want).  Cut into approximately three centimetre wide strips and set aside.  Repeat for the other 3 escalopes.

4.  Prepare one flat bowl with seasoned flour (sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika), another with beaten eggs and the tray of crumbs.  Prepare a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.

5.  Allowing plenty of room on the work surface, pané each strip of pork by dusting with flour then with the other hand dredging the pork through the egg and drop onto the breadcrumbs, coating each slice liberally.  Repeat until all strips are done, then go back and repeat, to provide the second coating.

6.  At this stage, the schnitzels can either be set aside in the fridge until ready to cook, or you can proceed directly to the cooking process.

7.  To a non-stick frying pan, add sunflower oil to an approximate depth of half a centimetre and begin to heat the oil.  Once a breadcrumb sizzles when dropped into the oil, begin frying strips in batches of four or five (so as not to crowd the pan) for 4 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning.

8.  Place onto a plate with kitchen paper to absorb fat & keep warm in 100 deg oven until all are cooked.


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