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Dish of the Week: Jägerschnitzel

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

With Oktoberfest in mind, this week we’re sharing a recipe for Jägerschnitzel.

Originating in Austria, a schnitzel is a butterflied, boneless piece of meat that is pounded thin with a mallet or meat tenderizer before being breaded and fried to a crisp in a bath of hot fat (lard or clarified butter are ideal). The bread crumbs are not pressed into the cutlet, allowing them to stay dry and develop a beautiful golden crust.

One of the most popular types is the Viennese specialty wiener schnitzel, made with veal; though other variations can be made using pork (wiener schnitzel vom schwein) or chicken, beef, turkey, pork or mutton.

Jägerschnitzel — also known as “hunter’s schnitzel” — is a variety of schnitzel made using veal or pork and topping it with a savory mushroom sauce. It’s best served with egg spätzle and nice, cold bier.

This recipe, by the Cooking Channel, incorporates bacon, cremini mushrooms and beef stock to make a rich gravy to coat the schnitzel.

Jägerschnitzel

Ingredients serves 4
For the gravy
8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

For the schnitzel
Four 5-ounce veal cutlets, pounded 1/8_inch thick (about 11 inches long and 3 inches wide)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons German hot mustard
3 eggs
2 cups plain dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish

Directions

For the gravy: Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy and most of the fat has been rendered, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any excess fat and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes, and then stir in the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Stir in 1/4 cup of the beef stock to combine, and then stir in the flour to combine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened to the consistency of gravy, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and set aside.

For the wiener schnitzel: Place each veal cutlet in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each one using the spiky side of a meat mallet to tenderize it. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Set up the breading station. Whisk together the flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow baking dish, and whisk together the mustard and eggs in another shallow baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a third baking dish.

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Dredge each veal cutlet first in the flour, then through the egg mixture, and lastly through the bread crumbs. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter into the oil until it starts to bubble, and then add 1 of the breaded veal cutlets and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, flipping once and moving the pan constantly, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack, season with salt and pepper and keep warm in the oven. Cook the remaining cutlets, making sure to wipe out the pan and use new oil and butter each time. Keep adding the finished veal cutlets to the baking sheet in the oven as you cook them.

To serve, top the schnitzel with gravy and garnish with parsley.

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