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Bavarian Pork Schnitzel

Possibly the most famous of all Germanic foods, Bavarian Pork Schnitzel is always a winner. Thinly beaten pork, generously coated in fresh breadcrumbs and fried to golden-brown perfection. Yum!

Brrrr! It was COLD this morning! 4°C (39°F!) That chilly temperature didn’t stop people heading to the Oktoberfest today, as people simply crowd into the tents and keep warm with plenty of dancing and beer!

I’m sharing another favourite Oktoberfest recipe today, the ultimate classic, Bavarian Pork Schnitzel.

Bavarian Pork Schnitzel on a plate with beer and pretzels.

What is a Bavarian Schnitzel?

Unlike our cousins the Viennese, who prefer to make their schnitzels from veal (Wiener Schnitzel), here in Bavaria the preferred meat is pork.

And what could be better to line your stomach in the beer garden or beer tent than deliciously tender pork, coated in seasoned breadcrumbs and fried in creamy butter?

How to make a great schnitzel

The trick to a great schnitzel is pounding the meat very thin, as this is what tenderises it and makes it so tasty and easy to eat.

In Bavaria, we say that schnitzels ought to be cooked in so much butter that they float in the pan, but as delicious as that is, it’s not necessary to use so much.

Frying Bavarian Pork Schnitzel with plenty of butter in a cast iron pan.

Variations

There are loads of variations on the theme and plenty of restaurants here in Munich pride themselves on having a whole separate ’Schnitzelkarte’ or schnitzel menu so you can choose your favourite type.

I love a ‘Munich-style’ schnitzel where the meat is spread with horseradish and Bavarian sweet mustard before crumbing and frying. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

If you like your schnitzel with a bit more sauce, try a Zigeuner or Gypsy schnitzel instead.

Does schnitzel have to be pork?

Of course not. You can use this method of cooking with any of the main meats, beef, chicken, pork or veal.

Whatever meat you use, It’s important not to treat the schnitzel like a steak. If you put the schnitzels into a screaming hot pan, the meat will overcook and be tough. If you gently cook them, however, in oil and butter to golden brown perfection, the reward is in every bite.

What to serve with pork schnitzel?

It traditional to serve schnitzel with plenty of French fried (pommes), but they are also very tasty served with a traditional Bavarian Potato Salad (kartoffelsalat).

Don’t forget plenty of beer to was it all down with! At the Oktoberfest they serve a special (strong!) beer called a Helles, but in Munich it’s actually popular to have a wheat beer instead.

What’s your favourite type of schnitzel? Do you have a local German restaurant serving amazing (and huge!) schnitzels? Let me know in the comments below!

Frying Bavarian Pork Schnitzel.
It’s important to use plenty of butter for the best flavour. If you are cooking a lot of schnitzels, use clarified butter or ghee.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use other types of meat to make schnitzel?

Absolutely! The Austrians swear by veal, as in their famous Wiener schnitzel, but beef, chicken or turkey make great alternatives. Poultry is much more fragile than pork, so be gentle when pounding the meat thinly.

Can I make schnitzel in advance?

You can make the schnitzel up to the point of crumbing it, then refrigerate it for up to two days.

Can I scale this recipe up or down?

You certainly can. Simply keep the schnitzels in the oven as you go to keep them warm. You may need to change the butter and oil if you are making a lot as the butter will start to scorch. Alternatively, use clarified butter or ghee instead.

Bavarian Pork Schnitzel with french fries on a plate.
Bavarian Pork Schnitzel with beer, pretzels and french fries.

Bavarian Pork Schnitzel Recipe

Bavarian Pork Schnitzel

Bavarian Pork Schnitzel

Yield: Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Possibly the most famous of all Germanic foods, Bavarian Pork Schnitzel is always a winner. Thinly beaten pork, generously coated in fresh breadcrumbs and fried to golden-brown perfection. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork steaks, chops or cutlets, ca. 500g (1 lb.)
  • 3 Tbsp plain or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 200g (2.5 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75g (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 30ml (2 Tbsp) sunflower oil
  • salt and pepper

to serve:

  • lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. BEAT SCHNITZELS: Prepare the schnitzels by removing any fat, then beating them very thin. I place them between two pieces of clingfilm and then bash them with a rolling pin. The secret to a great schnitzel is in how thin the meat is, as this is what makes them so tender. Season the schnitzel well on both sides, then set aside.
  2. CRUMB SCHNITZELS: In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, paprika, egg and milk. Place the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season well with salt and pepper. one by one, dredge the schnitzels through the flour and egg mixture, then place into the breadcrumbs, turning the schnitzels and pressing the breadcrumbs gently to make sure the schnitzels are well covered.
  3. PREPARE: Turn the oven on to low, with a heatproof tray or dish inside. In a frying pan large enough to hold two schnitzels at once, heat the butter and oil together over medium heat until the butter has started to foam.
  4. FRY SCHNITZELS: Carefully lay two of the schnitzels into the pan and cook very gently until golden brown on both sides, turning only once using a fork. Transfer to the oven to keep warm on the tray while you cook the remaining schnitzels.
  5. SERVE: Serve hot with fries, Bavarian Potato Salad and lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 954Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 285mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 61g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically isn’t always accurate. In this recipe it includes all of the butter and oil which isn't actually consumed.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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