Oh, how we love this! My favorite German comfort food.
During my time in Germany I fell in love with schnitzel and spaetzle. Just before I left I made sure to buy a couple of cookbooks devoted to authentic German cooking. Just plain old German comfort food, and believe me this is one of the best!
Germany isn’t any different than the US in that recipes vary depending on the region of the country you are in. As a matter of fact it’s like that everywhere. I couldn’t tell you what region this particular recipe originated in, not to mention I’ve added my own tweaks to the recipes.
Traditionally, Schnitzel is a breaded veal cutlet. Pork is being used more and more and is what I’ve always used. I’m also not a huge fan of breading, so I simply dredge the cutlets in a flour mixture with some spices. There are so many different versions of Schnitzel out there, this one is pretty close to Jagerschnitzel, I’ve left out the sour cream, but you can add some just before serving if you’d like. I’ve also made a version called Gypsy Schnitzel, or Zigeuner Schnitzel, with green and red bell peppers and onions. Yum!
Spaetzle is a simple flour and egg dumpling. Perfect accompaniment to the mushroom sauce of the Schnitzel. Once again spaetzle recipes and methods vary from region to region. You may have seen the box of Maggi Spaetzle on your supermarket shelf. I haven’t ever tried it so I can’t tell you how it compares to homemade, but the dumplings are much smaller than the ones I make at home. You can buy spaetzle makers, but unless you plan on making spaetzle often I wouldn’t bother. My cutting board method works great.
You can see in the picture that I like fairly large pieces of spaetzle, they are about the size of my pinkie finger. It’s a nice firm bite that is perfect with my mushroom gravy. With the butter and green onions they are even tasty without the gravy.
Enjoy! Keep in mind that this is MY version of a couple of my favorite German dishes. So probably not be 100% authentic.
Jager Schnitzel (Pork Cutlets with Mushrooms)
4 boneless, pork loin chops
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups water (or replace water and bouillon cube with beef stock)
1 beef bouillon cube
1/4 cup flour
Place pork chops between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound to about 1/4″ thickness.
Mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper together on a piece of wax paper or flat plate. Dredge (coat) the pork chops on both sides in the flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the pork chops. Let cook on one side for about 5 minutes before turning the chops and cooking another 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to hot pan. Add onions and mushrooms. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add wine to deglaze pan and cook until wine is almost cooked off. Add water and bouillon cube. Add pork chops back to pan and lower heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.
Remove chops from pan and set aside, keeping them warm.
In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup flour with about 1/3-1/2 cup water. Whisk until very smooth. Should be a nice thin consistency. Slowly add the flour/water mixture to liquid in pan. Don’t add it all at once. Add about half of it, cook and stir constantly until sauce starts to thicken. Add more flour/water mixture as necessary until sauce reaches the desired consistency. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes and return chops to pan. Turning once to coat both sides.
Serve over Spaetzle or noodles.
Spaetzle (Flour and Egg Dumplings)
3 cups flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1-2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup sliced green onions
Fill a large, 8-12 quart, stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
Place flour in large bowl, add salt. In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add 1 cup water to eggs and whisk together. Add egg mixture to flour and stir until combined. Mixture will be very, very thick. Add more water until mixture is of a spreadable consistency.
Using a small cutting board, spread about 1/2 cup of batter on board. Spread it thin. Use a butter knife to scrape thin slices of batter into the boiling water. Let dumplings cook for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove dumplings and place in a bowl. Continue process until batter is gone.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and add green onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then pour over spaetzle and mix.
Another variation of spaetzle: Instead of green onions, add 2 teaspoons poppy seeds with melted butter. Or add parsley.
Another variation to making the spaetzle: Instead of using a cutting board and slicing off pieces of batter, use a colander. If you have a colander with holes (not a mesh strainer) you can push the batter through the holes to make smaller dumplings. The batter will have to be a bit thinner. Use a kitchen scraper to scrape and push the batter through the colander. Make sure to do this in small batches.