My wife has numerable qualities that I fell in love with, but her love of food is one I cherish daily. Jägerschnitzel has always been one of our favorite dishes to make together at home. I included the recipe in Das Cookbook because the many memories I hold in my heart. Jägerschnitzel is both comfort food and simple elegance at its best…truly the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.
Many Americans think of schnitzel as a specific dish, usually veal or chicken, that is pounded thin, breaded, and pan-fried. That version, which is very good, is called wiener schnitzel, or Viennese-style schnitzel.
But in Germany, schnitzel is a broad category for the way meat is cut. The word literally means “cutlets.” There are countless variations using different types of meat and all sorts of preparations (even a “natural” schnitzel, meaning naked with no breadcrumbs), and sauces, from cream to tomato-based.
Jägerschnitzel, or “hunter’s schnitzel,” has always been one of my restaurants’ favorites also. I wrap my version of this classic dish in prosciutto-like Black Forest ham to give it a nice, meaty crust.
Pound the chops a little thicker, more like ½ inch (don’t worry about the bone—just focus your pounding on the meat) and use whatever market-fresh onions and mushrooms you find.
How to Pound Meat for Schnitzel
Place 1 veal, chicken, or pork cutlet at a time in a large food storage bag (do not seal) or between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Bang meat with a heavy skillet or the flat side of a meat pounder until about ⅛-inch thick. It should be almost doubled or more in size, depending on original size and thickness of meat.
Makes 4 Servings
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (5 to 6 ounces each), pounded for schnitzel to about 1/2-inch thick
Coarse sea or kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 paper-thin slices Black Forest ham or speck
⅓ cup flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 shallots, finely diced
4 medium cloves garlic, sliced in half
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed, or ½ cup pearl onions, peeled
2 cups mixed mushrooms, suchas chanterelle, oyster, and/or shiitake
1/4 cup dry white wine
½ cup Brown Veal Stock or Brown ChickenStock warmed
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, chilled
Generous splash heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Wrap 2 slices ham around the middle of each chop like a package,
covering most of the meat. Lightly press together edges to seal
and dip each chop in flour to coat both sides, shaking to remove
oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 chops and sauté until golden
brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 to
3 minutes to brown opposite side. Transfer to a plate and repeat
with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and remaining chops.
heat until just beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spring or
pearl onions and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to
soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine, scraping up any brown
bits on bottom of pan, and cook until wine almost evaporates,
about 2 minutes. Add veal or chicken stock, bring to a simmer,
and return pork chops and drippings to pan. Continue to cook
over medium heat until chops are only slightly pink in center, flipping
once, about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Place
chops on serving plates and use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables
on top (a few smaller vegetables can remain in pan).
a splash of cream. Season sauce with salt and pepper and sprinkle
parsley on top. Spoon sauce over chops and serve immediately.