Wiener Schnitzel self-made
Even before the schnitzel, there were dishes in the Viennese cuisine that were breaded and fried in fat. After all, breadcrumbs were a sensible use of leftover pastries made from expensive wheat flour and therefore valuable. The well-known “Wiener Backhendl”, which was first mentioned in a cookbook in 1719, was particularly popular. Although similar recipes to the baked schnitzel were already known in the 18th century and the name was first mentioned as early as 1831 in Maria Anna Neudecker’s “All Newest General Cookbook” as “Wiener Schnitzel from veal”, the term “Wiener Schnitzel” entered the general vocabulary only at the end of the 19th century. Before that, terms such as “veal schnitzel”, “breaded schnitzel” and “crumbled or breaded schnitzel” were commonplace.
The “Wiener Schnitzel” was originally a holiday dish, although the cheaper pork was often used instead of veal in the past. At that time, it was rarely prepared, mostly on public holidays and at weddings, until it developed into the typical Sunday dish of today over the decades. The presentation has also changed over time. While green salad, potato salad, cucumber salad or parsley potatoes were originally served as traditional side dishes, rice, French fries or fried potatoes are also widespread today. At the beginning of the 20th century in the K.u.K. Hofmundküche were still used capers and anchovies as a garnish, but these are now replaced by a slice or wedge of lemon and a sprig of parsley. Note: Even if this is no longer the case today, the lemon had an important function in the past – the acidity of the juice and the sprinkling of the schnitzel were intended to hide bad meat or old fat, among other things.
The preparation in a nutshell: pound each piece of veal rhythmically until very thin, lightly salt and pepper to taste, then dredge in flour and egg. Coat with breadcrumbs – but never press firmly! – and finally fry in plenty of hot fat until it is colored golden brown. Actually, quite simple. Today, however, the preparation hardly gets the attention it deserves. If you want to learn how to make a real “Wiener Schnitzel” from the best meat, you’ve come to the right place! We offer you the opportunity to take the meat tenderizer into your own hands and be initiated into the secrets of schnitzel preparation.