The Veal Schnitzel Story


A schnitzel refers to a thin slice of boneless meat typically coated with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs and then fried. It is commonly known for as being an Austrian specialty dish called Wiener schnitzel.

The term Wiener Schnitzel is said to be protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made of veal. However, many recipes can be found using pork and chicken as substitutes to the traditional veal. Any true schnitzel lover will agree that there is no comparison to a veal Wiener Schnitzel.

Schnitzel lover, cookbook author and Toronto based chef, Jo Lusted provides helpful tips on how to make crispy and tender veal schnitzel.

The key to the perfect schnitzel is to pound it thin with a meat tenderizer. “pound the veal to an even thickness of 1/8-1/16-inch thin.” Says, Jo “Even thickness allows for consistent, even cooking of the whole schnitzel. Uneven thickness will have the thinner sections slightly overcooked by the time the thicker part is cooked through.”

The next step towards an excellent schnitzel is to dredge each slice of pounded meat in flour, then eggs and coat well with breadcrumbs. Chef Jo recommends shaking off excess flour and breadcrumbs before frying for an even coating and to help keep the oil cleaner for the next batch.

When ready to fry, heat the oil and butter to a medium high temperature and cook the veal in small batches. This will help the oil remain a constant temperature and give you perfectly crisp breading.  Always lay the meat away from your body into the pan to avoid oil from splashing back on you. Watch our video to learn how!

When ready to eat serve the veal schnitzel with a squeeze of fresh lemon to enhance the flavour. Popular side dishes include light cucumber or potato salads.

More cooking tips from Chef Jo Lusted:

  • Allow oil to come back up to temperature (350F) in between frying the pieces of veal so that the breading stays crisp and the veal stays juicy. Cold oil means greasy, soggy schnitzel
  • Carefully spoon oil over the top of the veal while cooking. This can also be done by gently and carefully swirling the pan. By doing this, it helps trap air into the crust making it super crispy. Flip Schnitzel and repeat.
  • Line a tray or platter with double layered paper towel to rest veal after frying and before serving to absorb any excess oil. Flip schnitzel or lightly blot to absorb oil on the top of each piece.

Source: “Wiener Schnitzel.” Web. 22 Feb. 2016.