Memories of Wiener Schnitzel

This week certainly has been an interesting one for me as far as food goes, as I've been voraciously reading many of the entries for Project Food Blog. I'm surrounded by a smörgåsbord of people who love food, learning tons about their motivations and food heritage. Many of the stories I read were dedicated to family. When you think about it, food and family are synonymous as we spend more time engaged in eating with our families than just about any other activity. Especially my family.

This inspiration has helped me craft this week's post, dedicated to warm family memories of wiener schnitzel. I suppose I could tell you all about our German heritage, including a rich tradition of culinary excellence that has carefully passed this guarded recipe down through the generations. But, that would be a lie. The actual story of my love for wiener schnitzel can be credited to my Mom, and not because it was ever prepared. 

Mom has a great sense of humour. Like many amateur comedians, she likes to try on impressions and accents. Her approach is always to spring it on you when you're not expecting it - like when I would call her at work and ask "what's for supper?" I know I fell over the day she answered in a heavily exaggerated  German accent, "SOUR-KROOWT vand VEEENAH SHHNITZEL!" Then, promptly hung up the phone. (We like phone jokes in our family...prank calls, pretending to be an answering machine, etc..) Even though we never did eat this dish, wiener schnitzel was forever a running joke, and permanently imprinted in my brain.

Years later, I found myself traveling around Europe, with a stop none other than in Germany. I was on an organized tour, which included several authentic meals. You can only begin to imagine my complete and utter excitement when I heard we were having sauerkraut and wiener schnitzel. Oh.My.Gawd. It was no joke. I thoroughly enjoyed the lightly breaded and fried pork cutlet, seasoned with thyme and paprika, dressed in a lemon sauce. The mild sauerkraut was made with purple cabbage, seasoned with apple and raisins. After the meal and a few liters of fine German draught, I called my mother. It was the most expensive 5 minutes of laughter I can say I've had.

Since then, I have made this fine dish a few times. Here's how to make outstanding wiener schnitzel that can be served with just about anything you wish. For my version, I made roasted herb potatoes, and a matchstick vegetable salad. 

Weiner Schnitzel (makes 4)

4 pork cutlets pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 cup flour
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lemon
chopped capers

Mix the breadcrumbs, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Dredge the cutlets in flour, then coat with beaten egg, and cover with the breadcrumb mix. In a medium-high heat pan, bring the olive oil and butter to bubbling, then slip the pork cutlets in. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to rest. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken stock, scraping all the brown bits, and turn heat to low. Add lemon juice and capers, and stir until the sauce thickens. Serve the sauce over the schnitzel. 



  1. How amazing. For as much as I've heard the words Wiener Schnitzel, I had no idea that that's how it looked. Might I say that it looks incredibly yummy. Your picture with the potatoes and vegetable salad is beautiful. Well done.

  2. Sorry, but this is definetely not a Wiener Schnitzel !
    Here is the recipe for a Wiener Schnitzel:

  3. I just noticed your tagline Carrie and I think it sums you and your blog up marvellously!

    Your wiener schnitzel looks mouthwatering! I'll have beer with mine too, thanks ;)

  4. I went to a German food restaurant this weekend and out of curiosity looked up Wiener Schnitzel's history. The Foodist is being picky on the difference between the veal and pork version... not necessary.

    This looks great! And I love that there is heart behind your cooking!

  5. Looks so goooood! Although I stated many times that we were having wiener schnitzel, how ironic that you, in the end, learned how to make it and make it well! I can hear your grandfather....

  6. @ Carolyn
    It´s not just the difference between veal and pork ! Wiener Schnitzel is a protected name for a breadcrumbed veal cutlet, the pork version You could call Schnitzel Vienna Style. But this dish isn´t even a Vienna Style Schnitzel. A Wiener Schnitzel do not have any sauce ! This dish could maybe called Schnitzel with capers sauce

  7. @The Foodist - I appreciate the commentary. :) However, one thing I don't subscribe to is trying to recreate 'authenticity'. In this case, I replicated a meal that I ate in Germany that had a lemon sauce. They called it 'weiner schnitzel'. So, the post is not so much about trying to create 'the real thing', as it is about a memory.

    Also, wikipedia's definition does differ from what you've described. Perhaps we all take liberties with recipes. ;-)

  8. I love taking liberties with recipes, and what ever it may be is great :) Recreating a memory is such an amazing thing when food is concerned...And voted, so good luck with the challenge and have fun :)


Post a Comment