Schwartzwald Schnitzel with Carmelized Onions

One of our favorite local restaurants is Rheinblick German Restaurant, serving up all manners of hearty, German fare.  Knockwurst, spaetzel, gluhwein, rouladen — they’re all ready to be eaten!

Our favorite by far, however, is schnitzel.  Thin slices of pork (or veal) breaded and fried in butter are served with squeeze of lemon — mmm, oh it’s too good!

But we can’t eat out all the time, so I recreated Shane’s favorite at home.  Schwartzwald schnitzel is a breaded and fried pork cutlet topped with a slice of ham and Emmentaler cheese. I served it on a bed of arugula dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar (OK, not totally German, but the bitterness paired nicely with the richness of the schnitzel) and some spaetzel my mother-in-law had picked up at World Market topped with caramelized onions.

It will still be a while before I give Rheinblick’s owners Gary and Gudrun a run for their money, but this was still a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.

Schwartzwald Schnitzel

6 (2- to 3-ounce) pork loin cutlets
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
4 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp butter
6 slices of black forest ham
6 slices of Emmentaler cheese
Lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Trim fat from the edge of the of the cutlets.
Flatten the cutlets, one at a time, by placing the meat between sheets of wax paper or inside a ziptop plastic bag and  pound with a meat pounder or a rolling pin to an even thickness of a quarter of an inch. Repeat with remaining cutlets and season lightly on both sides with salt. Set aside

Place the flour on a plate (a wide pie plate works well), beat the eggs and milk until smooth in a  bowl, and place the bread crumbs  on a plate (a wide pie plate works well).

Dip a cutlet in the flour, lightly coating each side and shaking gently to remove any excess. Dip floured cutlet in the egg mixture wipe away any excess, then place the cutlet in the bread crumbs and coat well, pressing to make sure the crumbs stick.  Place floured, egged, and breaded cutlet on a clean plate or baking sheet, and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets. Allow coating to set for at least 15 minutes before proceeding.

Heat the oil and butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.  Cook the cutlets until golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn gently and brown on the other side, another 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t crowd the pan — that will lower the temperature of the oil — so work in batches.   As the cutlets are done, put them on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels, season lightly with salt, and place in the oven.

When all of the cutlets have been fried, place a slice of ham followed by a slice of cheese on top of each cutlet.  Place back in the oven until the ham has been warmed and the cheese has begun to melt, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Serve immediately, with a piece of lemon to squeeze over.

Serves 6.

Caramelized Onions (adapted)

3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup water or other liquid, such as chicken stock or beer, optional
In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Continue to stir frequently, adjusting the heat in the pan as necessary.  Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan  until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes.   Use the liquid, a little bit at a time, to help deglaze the pan, if desired.

Serves 2-3.


Categories: Entrees, Grade Range: A- to A+, Pork, Sides, Vegetables


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