schnitzel

First off, I would like to clarify something: schnitzel does not mean “sausage”. I know Wikipedia is not exactly an unimpeachable authority but I will quote it for the sake of corroboration:

Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Schnitzel in German, where Schnitzel means a cutlet without bones) is a traditional Ausrian dish and popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine, consisting of a thin slice of veal coated in breadcrumbs and fried. In Austria the dish is traditionally served with a lemon slice, lingonberry jam and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. While the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal, it is now sometimes made of pork, though in that case it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art (Germany) or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein salad or potatoes with (Austria) to differentiate it from the original.

Thank you, Wikipedia!

Now, on to the dish. I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes and really, anything breaded and fried is OK by me. I’ve never had the traditional Wiener Schnitzel because I don’t eat veal, but this seemed like a compromise. I paired it with a braised cabbage recipe from How to Cook Everything, and it all turned out fine. Not spectacular, I will admit, but good.

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Part of the problem was that for the life of me I could not pound those pork chops thinner than 1/2 inch. I knew it was wrong but I seemed to be on the verge of destroying the meat, so I just decided to cut my losses. It still cooked quickly, and I left it in the pan maybe a minute longer than the recipe called for just to be safe. The cabbage was good, but I found it slightly too tomato-ey and the cayenne was a little overpowering. It was very sweet (due to the slow-cooked onions and tomato paste) with a kick at the end, in the back of your throat. I will say that thanks to Mark Bittman I now know a better method for slow-cooking onions: start them out in a dry pan over medium-low heat and cook with the lid on, stirring every few minutes until the water they give off has mostly dried and they are close to sticking to the pan. Add oil or butter and up the heat to medium-high and cook until browned. Very nice.

Anyway, here is the link to the pork recipe:

Pork Schnitzel

And here’s the cabbage recipe:

Cabbage Braised with Onions

2 cups sliced onions
3 T. butter or olive oil
3 T. tomato paste (I think 1 1/2 would have done it)
1/4 t. cayenne
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Savoy or other white cabbage, cored and shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Put onion in a large, deep skillet or casserole over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the onion has given up its liquid and is almost sticking to the pan. Add the butter or oil, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the onion browns nicely, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomato paste, cayenne, 1/2 cup of water, and the cabbage and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir, then cover. Cook until the cabbage is tender but not mushy, about 3o minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or warm.