Wiener schnitzel is an Austrian main dish made with veal. The meat is pounded into thin slices, breaded, and fried and is then served with lemon wedges and greens for garnishment.
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When I think of food in Austria, the very first thing that comes to mind is wiener schnitzel. this stuff is EVERYWHERE.
In every restaurant, on every dinner menu in Austria, wiener schnitzel is always an option.
Maybe I was eating at places that catered to tourists? But from my experience, there wasn’t a restaurant that didn’t serve this Austrian specialty.
Historians are unclear whether the original version of this dish was invented under the Habsburg Family in Austria or in Italy.
The Cotoletta Milanese, the Italian-named version of this dish, was first served in 1134 at an Italian banquet in Milan. The recipe is mostly the same except for the fact that Cotoletta Milanese frequently is served bone-in, which Wiener Schnitzel is made with cutlets.
Why Make this Recipe
- Very Simple: What could be simpler than breading some meat and frying it up? Making this recipe is easy and delicious!
- “Travel” to Austria: If I want to close my eyes and imagine I’m back in Austria, eating Wiener Schnitzel is the way to do that. I ate my fair share of this dish while in Austria, and it is, for good reason, the quintessential food for experiencing Austrian culture.
What Ingredients are in this Recipe?
- Veal Cutlets: You can find veal cutlets at your local butcher. These should be boneless and very thin.
- Bread Crumbs: Traditionally, this dish is main with plain breadcrumbs.
- Oil: Use whatever oil you like to use for frying. I try to stick with sunflower oil or vegetable oil. Use oils with a high smoking point (olive oil is not a good option).
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: Prepare the Meat
Use a meat tenderizer to beat the cutlets to ¼ of an inch. This is very important as it will keep your meat from tensing up as it gets hot.
Combine the milk and the eggs and whisk together.
Dip each of the cutlets into the flour. Then, dip them in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs to coat.
Step 2: Fry
Put enough oil in the pan to come about halfway up the meat. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees.
Put each cutlet in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, flip, and then cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
Squeeze lemon on the meat and enjoy!
- I sometimes use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs to make this recipe. Though it’s not traditional, it does add an extra pop of flavor to the dish
- Lard is the traditional method for frying this dish, though oil could be simpler for those making this recipe in the US
- Serve your Wiener Schnitzel with a slice of lemon and a side of parsley to garnish your dish!
- Another non-traditional, yet delicious option is to mix some parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs before frying.
- You can also use scallopini if you want a really thin piece of meat!
What is Wiener Schnitzel?
Wiener schnitzel is a piece of veal that is pounded thin, breaded, and then fried. It’s normally served with a wedge of lemon, some greens for garnishment, and, occasionally, potato salad on the side.
What is the Difference Between Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel?
The word “Wiener” in the name actually refers specifically to a schnitzel that originated in Vienna, the capital of Austria.
The name “Wiener Schnitzel” is trademarked and protected, meaning that only schnitzels made with veal can be called a Wiener Schnitzel.
What to Serve as a Side with Wiener Schnitzel
Surprisingly enough (at least it was surprising to me), Wiener Schnitzel is not typically served with any sides in Austria. If there is a side, it’s normally some roasted potatoes.
However, if you are making this dish at home and want to serve it up with a delicious side, some great options would be mashed potatoes (you can even serve them up with horseradish!). This spinach salad would also be a great option.
Liked this recipe for Austrian wiener schnitzel? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you:
- Sacher Torte from Austria
- Swiss Roll with Raspberry Cream Filling
- Liptaur (Cheese Spread) from Austria
- Kaiserschmarrn: Shredded Pancakes from Austria
- Käsespätzle from Austria
If you make this recipe at home, leave a review/comment on this post letting us know what you thought!
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Wiener Schnitzel (Austria)
- 4 veal cutlets
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- vegetable oil , for frying
- lemon slices, for garnishment
- parsley, for garnishment
- Use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat to 1/4 of an inch. This is very important, as it will keep your meat from tensing up as it gets hot.
- Combine the milk and the eggs and whisk together.
- Put enough oil in the pan to come about halfway up the meat. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees.
- Dip each of the cutlets into the flour. Then dip them into the egg and then the breadcrumbs to coat.
- Put each cutlet in the pan (I fried them one at a time). Cook for about two minutes, flip, and then cook for about two minutes on the other side.
- Remove wiener schnitzel from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain oil.
- Squeeze lemon onto the meat and enjoy!