Pork Schnitzel

Tender and juicy pork loin coated in a crispy breading.  Pairs perfectly with mash potatoes, pork gravy and a sweet yet tangy purple sauerkraut.

This is a fan favorite meal at my house.  Pork top loin steaks are on sale this week at my local safeway, so naturally we made 14 schnitzels for the freezer.  14 seems like a lot, but quite honestly I don’t expect them to last longer than two weeks and a month would be a stretch goal.  Once cooked and cut into thin strips, my kids eat them like they are chicken fries or chicken strips.  They are way better for them than processed chicken nuggets and I feel way better about my kids eating them instead.  I suppose if you wanted to make them fun to eat, you could take a cookie cutter and cut the pieces of meat into different shapes such as dinosaurs or stars.  It is easy enough to do.

Here’s what you need:

7 pork top loin steaks

1 Box (8 Oz) panko bread crumbs

To make the batter:

1 cup flour

1 large egg

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon garlic

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4  cup water

Place your pork steak onto a piece of plastic wrap.  If you use a large piece, fold the other half over the top of the pork steak or you can place another piece of plastic wrap on the top.  The goal is to have plastic wrap on both the top and bottom of the pork steak.  In my experience, the plastic wrap prevents the muscle fibers from splitting while being pound thin with a meat mallet.  Using the flat side of the mallet, pound the meat thin.  Work from the center to the outer edges.  If you do not have a mallet with a flat side, you can use a rolling pin.  I made mine about a centimeter in thickness.  You can go thicker, but don’t go too thick or the breading will burn before the pork cooks fully.  Get too thin and the pork will dry out before the breading browns.

I have tried many different combinations and methods to figure out how to bread the pork and this is what I have found that works best.  I was taught to dip the pork in egg, then dredge in flour, then back into egg before covering in bread crumbs, but it was such a mess and the breading always fell off.  Instead, create a batter from flour, egg and water. The batter is very thick and fully coats the pork.  Once you dip it in the batter, drop it onto a plate covered in bread crumbs.  Then pour more crumbs over the top and press them into the batter until the bread crumbs absorb the batter.  it should not be wet to the touch.  Use your hands to firmly press down on the crumbs.  Flip the pork steak over on the plate and do the same to the other side.  Once fully coated, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in the freezer.

The Schnitzel can be cooked right away after being breaded.  If frozen, thaw before cooking to prevent the bread crumbs from burning or the oil from splattering about when cooking.  You can either bake or pan fry.  If you bake, make sure to spritz the schnitzel with oil and flip halfway through cooking so it will brown on both sides.  I would also recomend using a wire rack to allow air to circulate and whisk off excess moisture in cooking.

I would recommend you use a frying pan and oil for best results.  Preheat your oil in a pan.  Once hot, add your breaded pork cutlet.  Let it brown on one side before flipping.  I used a grill press to allow for even cooking but it is not absolutely necessary.  Once golden brown on both sides, remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.  Once cool enough to touch, cut and serve.