Appalachian Zigeunerschnitzel

Introduction: Appalachian Zigeunerschnitzel

When it comes to traditional Austrian/German Zigeunerschnitzel, like most very old dishes you can find 1000 different recipes. This variation comes from my family who left Germany and settled in Appalachian Mountain area generations ago. It can be cooked in 30 minutes and uses only easy to obtain ingredients.

What you will need:
Boneless pork chop      1 green bell pepper
1 cup beef broth             1 medium onion
flour                                   heavy cream
black pepper                    vegetable oil or lard
paprika                              tomato (whole or juice)


Step 1: Pouding the Meat

A good schnitzel is thin. Unfortunately, packages of boneless pork chops typically aren't thin enough. Remove the pork chops from the package, and place them in a 1 gallon freezer bag. Simply pound on the chops with your fist to flatten them to an appropriate size.

Step 2: Making the Mixture

In a small bowl, pour enough flour to completely coat both sides of your pork chops. Add a small amount of paprika and black pepper to the flour. You will be adding more paprika later, so you don't need to go overboard here. Turn your pork chops in the mixture until evenly coated on both sides.

Step 3: Frying, Part 1

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs of vegetable oil and 2 tbs of butter over medium-high heat. The bottom of the skillet should be lightly covered, so add more oil if necessary.
Fry pork chops for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Place chops aside.

Note: Lard may be substituted for vegetable oil if desired. Lard has a low smoke point, so you will need to reduce heat to medium and add 1-2 minutes on each side.

Step 4: Frying, Part 2

While the pork chops are frying, dice your bell pepper and onion. Once the pork chops have been removed from the skillet, immediately add the vegetables.  Reduce heat to medium. Fry vegetables for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove vegetables from skillet after 15 minutes.

Note: If you prefer a chunkier sauce, dice a medium tomato. Add to vegetables in the skillet for the last 5 minutes of frying. If you are using tomato juice, you will have a thinner sauce and do not need to add it to the vegetables at this point.

Step 5: Making the Sauce

Heat 2-3 more tbs vegetable oil in the empty skillet. Take a handful of flour and sprinkle it evenly through the heated oil, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.

When the mixture starts to become thick, add 1 cup beef broth and a splash of heavy cream. Continue to stir constantly. If using tomato juice, now is the time to add it. Use a minimum of 1 cup, more if desired. A little extra flour will thicken the sauce back up. Sauce will thicken as it cools, so it is preferable to have a slightly thinner sauce cooking than what you desire on the finished meal.

Note: For a thicker sauce, use more flour. For a thinner sauce, use less.

Step 6: Finish Up

When sauce is uniform in appearance and heated through, return pork chops and vegetables to the skillet. Heat for approximately 15 minutes over medium heat.

Step 7: Serve

Sprinkle paprika over plate and serve. Pairs well with a good Oktoberfest, and a side of potato salad or spätzle.

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    I ended up trying this tonight (my family decided that, since I'd expressed interest in this recipe aloud, I'd be *ahem* the master chef...they don't like cooking all that much...). I must say - this came out quite tasty, even though my sauce was a bit chunkier than I wanted (I enjoy cooking, but I will admit - I'm rubbish at dicing onions...). For the first time ever, my pork chops came out deliciously moist and tender all throughout - I think the ratio of vegetable oil to butter you suggested worked much better than whatever I've done in the past. Great flavor in the sauce, too - I added a bit of canned diced tomatoes (all out of fresh...), and the sauce was nice and creamy without being too runny (delicious over rice, too). Very easy instructions to follow - kudos!

    Even though my Grandpa is German, I know very little of German cuisine, so I was wondering one thing. Most pork chop recipes I've used in the past specified an egg wash on the chops before coating with flour, to stop the flour being absorbed in the chop (which happened a bit tonight - little bit of sticking to the pan before I adjusted the heat, but they did come out nicely breaded). Is this not usually done in German food? I know egg washes really change the flavor if frying in vegetable or canola oil (not sure about lard), and I must admit, these chops had a more robust flavor in the breading than I'm used to - you could really taste the pepper and paprika more than the oil in the breading. Just curious!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I honestly couldn't tell you when it comes to the eggs. This was my great grandmother's recipe; she lived pretty deep in the mountains and didn't raise chickens, so it could very well have just been a matter of her not using an egg wash because she didn't always have eggs on hand.