Inspired by my last tasty tuesday adventure using A New Turn in the South, I wanted to literally do a new Southern turn on a dish I had not had in ages- Wiener Schnitzel. And then for sides, how could I not make a little spaetzle and a quick, Southern style kraut approximation? I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
So, what is Wiener Schnitzel? Officially, now, it is any thin breaded, fried steak, but traditionally it is a fried veal steak breaded in a breadcrumb and flour mixture and served with lemon juice. The alternative, thin pounded pork chops, was called von schwein to differentiate, but such nomenclature has largely disappeared (and much that you will find in the states is pork).
So, what makes it southern? Why, I used Alton Brown’s recipe for country fried steak, of course. I purchased a whole loin and cut some thick chops and trimmed the fat. The rest of the loin is safely tucked away in the freezer.
Using the tenderizing mallet, I pounded them until the were a little less than half as thick as they started. Roughly 1/2 and inch.
Next, they were dredged in flour with ample salt and pepper, dipped in egg, and back in the spiced flour. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes while you heat some oil in large skillet. You want to cover the bottom of the pan with oil and heat over medium high until a water droplet pops immediately. About 4-5 mins each side, until golden brown will do.
After the schnitzel is done, its time to double down on the South and make a pan gravy. Add 3 tbsp of flour to the pan and whisk until mixed and add a can of chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Continue whisking as you add 1/2 cup of milk and some herbs (I used fresh time from the garden). Top the schnitzel with the gravy, of course.
But before you do any of that, you should make your spaetzle dough. Spaetzle is a German dumpling made of flour, milk, eggs, and spices. Any recipe you choose should be good, varying only on amount, Today I used 1 1/2 cup flour, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup milk. Blend just like pasta, slowly working in the wet ingredients. This dough, however, will be sticky and runny, not like regular pasta.
Then, boil a pot of water and use a spaetzle maker/cheese grater/large-holed colander (check) to “cut” the dough into small dumplings over the water. They only need to boil for about 5 mins and drain immediately.
All the while, you should have some bacon rendering in a pan. About three strips will do to thoroughly flavor the spaetzle, along with two cloves of minced garlic and two sprigs of chopped rosemary. Put the dumplings right into the hot bacon grease that you’ve now flavored with garlic and rosemary and fry for about 4 minutes. To top it off with some charm, I added chopped bacon back into mix. MMMM, Bacon.
Even earlier, I made a stab at some southern flash kraut. I chopped some mustard and turnip greens and blanched them with some about 1/2 cup each cider and white wine vinegar, salt, pickling spices, and garlic (with water to cover the greens in a large bowl) and refrigerated for about an hour. After draining, I wilted them over low heat in a pan for a few minutes. I would recommend collards or chard for yours, though.
The plate came together with a lovely Southern tomato:
And, of course, a nice German dunkel:
It was all quite good. The meat had a sweetness and overall great flavor profile and the spaetzle was like little bacony pillows. The greens we ok, and certainly complemented the dish. With the dunkel and the gravy to boot, this was like Helen, GA on a plate.