Viennese “Schnitzel Wiener Art”
(Pork Schnitzel with Spaetzel and Tangy Frizzled Brussels Sprouts)
Bu Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
This post is sponsored by OhioPork.org. All opinions are my own.
Oh my goodness. I just looked down at the calendar and noticed it is going to be September in a few days. Can you believe it? Where did summer go? Our summer was quite nice this year, laced with seasonal barbecues and abundant sunshine (at least sometimes the rainclouds rolled away!)
And now, as much as I adore summer comes one of my favorite times of year- the approach of Autumn, when days are not yet too cool but the trees begin to grace us with their stunning foliage.
There’s a tree down the street, being a bit eager, already starting to turn!
Mums begin to fill Ohio farm markets in a stunning array of colors along with the last of summer’s corn and peaches, and the beginnings of Fall bounty: colorful peppers, mounds of zucchini and other summer squash such as crookneck and pattypan, and the first sightings of winter squash such as butternut and acorn.
Soon gourds and pumpkins will be everywhere, amidst a carpet of fallen leaves. The months of September and October are quite abundant for pork as well, since porcine livestock born in the Spring have reached the age where it will go from farm to table. For every thing there is a season…
Spaetzle is a perfect easy side dish for Autumn pork recipes-
For years in southwest Ohio we look forward to this time, and one of the favorite ways to celebrate (for our family) is an annual visit to the Preble County pork festival. Yes, you read that right. A festival devoted exclusively to the luxurious deliciousness of pork. We’ve been going since we moved to Ohio in the early 1990’s. Time was, it was a mecca for American folk art and antiques, but the enduring draw has always been pork.
And pork, for me, is one of those foods that sort of define a person. Someone might ask me “What’s your favorite food?” And there might be only a moment of hesitation before I blurt out “BACON!” But my love of pork doesn’t stop there. If you know me well, you might notice my home cooking is very seasonal, and littered with the cultural tradition of my family. I hail originally from around St. Louis, Missouri, and my husband, from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. And each has their unique love of pork.
In St. Louis, summer holidays mark the annual market pork wars, each vying to have the lowest possible price on our summer Midwest staple: pork steaks, either cut from the butt section or the shoulder blade roast. My parents were so emotional about it they debated back and forth the virtues of each, my mother preferring the butt, my dad insisting on shoulder blade.
As a child, I concentrated on the swimming pool until the intoxicating aromas of my dad’s barbecue drew me to the dinner table. The steaks, cut bone-in, are grilled, but not quickly as you do with burgers or wursts, but slower. And not as slow as making a Carolina pulled pork either, but somewhere betwixt the two, offset from the coals, and basted frequently before being finished with sauce.
I discovered a more northerly way of enjoying pork after I met my husband and spent time up in Wisconsin during the summers when he was away from school. Before that, I had never before tasted a fresh Polish sausage or fresh bratwurst: in St. Louis they were always the precooked variety. The Wisconsin method for cooking their favorite pork involves simmering the wursts in a stockpot full of beer and aromatic things such as chopped onion and garlic, before finishing them up on the grill. With that were copious amounts of German mustard, heaps of sauerkraut and fresh grilled local corn. I was in love. With my husband, and the food.
Brussels Sprouts are an interesting and delicious alternative
to the usual Sauerkraut which is often served with pork in German-American communities
In Ohio, pork can be an art form. The area around Cincinnati is heavily German in ancestry, and roots go far back in celebrating the many ways to enjoy pork wursts such as Metts (a wonderful cross between a smoked sausage and a dinner frankfurter). Many people tend to think of Cincinnati as being mostly about chili, but perhaps the biggest secret in this area is the goetta, a mysterious mixture of pork, pinhead oats and spices. In some ways it is kind of like pork sausage, but not.
It has a cult following and I have grown to adore it as well, from being cooked up crisp in the skillet to be served at breakfast with my poached eggs, to being modeled into patties and franks for sandwiches, to being used as a taco filling, or to replace the usual beef in our famous Cincinnati chili. I swear to you, if there is some form of ground meat or mince in a recipe, you can sub with goetta instead, and the secret to that success lies with the pork in it. What can we not do with it? Ohio pork rules.
I could go on and on. Can you tell I love my pork barbecue? And brats on a bun? My goetta tacos? Don’t even think of getting me started on baby back ribs or grilled pork souvlaki or we will never get to the recipe I have for you today. Ha!
After many months of steady barbecue and grilling, it can be a bittersweet moment to move on to autumn, but some time in August I get bit by the sauerkraut bug (it must be those three bits of German DNA I have) and once that takes hold, the game is on. As you might tell from my name as well (Yes, it’s German) my family tradition surrounds much German/Austrian types of food (albeit German-American) and living in Cincinnati is just icing on the cake for Austrian and German food (even if the city was named after some German-food-loving-Roman guy: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus). Well, at least I suspect he loved Austrian and German food. And pork. Most people do, and rightly so.
You might think my chat is off on a tangent here (I *am* occasionally guilty of it) except that if you eat enough German (and Austrian) food, and autumn food, you will know the Pork is the centerpiece of many of those meals. You might mention *veal* in a demure, somewhat shy voice, to which I would say “Well, it’s not bockwurst without the pork and if there is not wurst to go with the bock, what will people eat during Bockfest every Spring?” Cincinnati celebrates that too, the first full weekend of March.
See? Pork is a seasonal food. And a local food too, as Ohio supports over 4000 pork farms, providing over ten thousand jobs to the state’s economy. That’s a lot of bacon, baby.
Today the recipe I am making for you is a pork version of traditional Wiener Schnitzel, which is commonly made with veal. The “Wiener” part of it actually refers to the city of “Vienna” Austria. I’m not sure exactly why the Austrians/Germans change the name to “Wiener Art” when it is made with pork- perhaps it implies a creative use of ingredients. Traditionally here in the United States, I see this type of recipe made most often with pork, as the Texas Pork Tenderloin, which is extremely popular during the early Autumn months at food festivals and the like. I can’t help but envision Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music” singing :
“Cream colored ponies
And crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things“
Not that Austrians and Germans often eat schnitzel with noodles (potato pancakes or latkes are quite common), but if you think of spaetzel as a “noodlish” sort of dumpling, we have it covered. And with the schnitzel and spaetzel, instead of the usual sauerkraut I might often serve, I have prepared a simple variation on frizzled cabbage, using instead some shredded Brussels Sprouts and flavoring them with a interesting mixture parked midway between sweet and sour green beans and rotkohl (red cabbage). I think it covers the spirit of the thing quite nicely. Is pork schnitzel with noodles one of your favorite things? I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to take the survey before you go for your chance to win! Until next time-
Viennese Schnitzel Wiener Art (Pork Wiener Schnitzel)
- 12 ounces boneless pork loin or pork shoulder
- 1 cup homemade bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Slice pork into 2-3 thick medallions and butterfly (cutting almost all the way through so that you may open the meat like butterfly wings to form a larger, thinner slice).
- Pound meat into thin scallopini between sheets of plastic wrap using a meat mallet.
- Whisk egg with water to create an egg wash.
- Season both sides of pork with salt and black pepper, then dip into egg wash then into breadcrumbs.
- Place breaded pork on nonstick foil on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes then turn and cook 5-7 minutes more or until golden and crisp.
- 9 ounces dry spaetzle
- 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- Cook dry spaetzle according to package directions in boiling salted water until tender, and drain.
- Heat butter to melting in a large skillet.
- Add cooked spaetzle along with remaining ingredients to skillet and stir over medium low heat until browned.
Tangy Frizzled Brussels Sprouts Ingredients:
- 10 ounces shaved Brussels Sprouts (shave by hand or buy packaged)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons berry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste)
- Heat bacon drippings in a large skillet and add onion, cooking until slightly softened.
- Add crumbled bacon, shaved Brussels sprouts, garlic, salt and pepper to pan and cook, stir-frying, until sprouts are nearly tender.
- Add vinegar and brown sugar to pan, allowing steam to finish the cooking. Adjust salt, pepper and sugar to your own preferences (flavor should be sweet-sour, similar to the flavor of Harvard beet sauce).
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Making your own fresh homemade breadcrumbs
to use in this recipe is surprisingly easy and very frugal!
Also, making your own berry vinegar
is really quite simple and straightforward:
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