How to Make The Perfect Schnitzel at Home (+ 3 German Street Food Recipes You Need To Try) October 18, 2018
If you thought German cuisine was just bratwurst, beer and Black Forest gateau you’d be very much mistaken. From Berlin’s infamous currywurst to the crunchy Spree Forest gherkins of Brandenburg, Germany’s traditional cuisine is as richly varied as its landscapes. Behind France, Germany has the second highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, with 300 being awarded one or more stars.
We’ve teamed up with the German Tourist Office to take you on a culinary adventure through Germany, introducing you to the huge variety of flavours this country has to offer, proving that there is more to German cuisine that Sauerkraut and sausages!
To kick things off, our chefs have given their own spin to a classic German schnitzel recipe for you to enjoy at home between 10th-17th November. Take a sneak peek at the recipe here (link to recipe), watch it come to life below (link to video), and add it to your box before midnight on Wednesday the 8th of November.
What exactly is schnitzel?
Culinary historians have traced the roots of the name ‘schnitzel’ back to the German word ‘der Schnitz’, meaning a ‘slice’ or ‘cut’. Traditionally, meats like chicken, veal, and pork are tenderised (flattened), dredged un breading and then fried. These processes of cooking date as far back as the 1st century BC and are centrally located in the continent of Europe.
What makes our schnitzel recipe so special?
Golden, crispy and light, our chefs’ take on the classic German schnitzel is a winning weeknight recipe. Whilst we’ve served ours with a peppery rocket salad and roasted beetroot and potatoes, in Germany, schnitzel comes in a surprising number of different variations. Jägerschnitzel is the most popular variety, served with a rich mushroom gravy, closely followed by Zigeunerschnitzel, where it is served alongside a zesty red pepper sauce. Quick to cook and easy to prep, enjoy this dish with a crisp German Riesling to really bring the flavours of this dish to life.
The Best Place to Eat Schnitzel in Germany:
You’ll find the very best German schnitzel on the 6th floor of Berlin’s luxury department store, Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe).
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks (no need to peel!) and pop on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat then spread out and roast on the middle shelf of your oven till golden and crispy, 30-35 mins, turning halfway.
- Meanwhile, trim and peel each beetroot then chop each into eight wedges. TIP: Wear gloves if you don't want to stain your hands a funky pink colour! When the potatoes are halfway through cooking, add the beetroot to the tray, give everything a shake and return to the oven for the remainder of the time. TIP: The beetroot are cooked when you can just slip a knife through. Meanwhile, start to make the crumb!
- Zest the lemon and pop into a bowl. Mix in the panko, oregano, olive oil for crumb (see ingredients for amount) and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Tip onto a plate. Bash the pork steak with a rolling pin until 1cm thick all over. Repeat with the other steak(s). Smear one side of the pork with a little mayo to cover it. Place mayo-side-down in the crumbs. Smear the exposed side with mayo and turn it over so both sides are coated. Repeat for the other steak(s).
- Heat a good splash of oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. When hot, carefully lay in the pork schnitzels and fry until golden and cooked through, turning halfway, 8-10 mins. IMPORTANT: The pork is cooked when no longer pink in the middle.
- Meanwhile, pick the mint leaves from their stalks and roughly chop (discard the stalks). In a small bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil (see ingredients for amount). Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper then stir through half the mint. Pop the rocket in a bowl and drizzle over half the dressing. Toss together just before serving.
- Serve the roasted potatoes and beetroots on your plates topped with the pork schnitzel. Arrange the rocket alongside and finish all with a drizzle of remaining dressing and a scattering of remaining mint. Enjoy!
Don’t stop your culinary tour there! We’ve created three delicious recipes for you to make at home, sharing the best places to eat them in Germany. From supper clubs and food festivals to Bavarian igloo restaurants (yes, really!), the street food scene in Germany is one full of flavour and variety. German food tastes better in Germany after all!
3 German Street Foods To Try At Home
1. Schwäbische Maultaschen
These German ravioli are the perfect thing to cook if you’re craving something warming and comforting. Larger than ravioli, these square pockets of pasta dough are stuffed with a savoury filling before being crimped at the edges and served in a nourishing broth. From there, the preparations are endless. Here, we’ve kept the filling traditional, combining beef and veal mince with spinach, onion and nutmeg.
The best place to eat Maultaschen in Germany:
Tante Lene’s Maultaschen in the Swabian capital of Stuttgart.
- 400 g flour
- 4 eggs
- A small amount of water
- 150 g minced beef
- 300g minced veal
- 200g blanched spinach, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- Nutmeg, ground salt
- 300ml, Meat stock
- Finely diced vegetables
- Knead the flour, eggs and salt together with a little water to form a smooth dough. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a thin rectangular sheet of dough.
- For the filling, soak the croutons in a little hot water and then press firmly to dry. Mix croutons, minced beef, veal, spinach, onion, nutmeg thoroughly in a large bowl and season to taste. Leaving 2 cm free at the top edge, spread the filling onto the pasta dough to a thickness of around 0.5 cm, and roll twice.
- Cover the overlapping edge of the dough with an egg yolk, fold over and press firmly. Cut the pasta pockets with a knife (around 100 g per pasta pocket). Heat the meat stock and diced veg in the pan and bring to the boil before turning down the heat. Add the dumplings and simmer for 12 mins until cooked through.
- Serve with the meat stock, diced vegetables and chives.
2. Traditional Pretzel Knots:
We’ve given the classic German street food favourite, pretzels, our own HelloFresh spin by turning them into little pretzel knots perfect for dipping into a creamy mustard sauce. Buttery and soft, these little-baked bites are the perfect thing to bake over a weekend or to serve as an appetiser if you’re entertaining a crowd.
The best place to eat Pretzels in Germany:
Soft, squishy pretzels, sprinkled with a generous topping of salt flakes are hugely popular in Bavaria with a cold beer.
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 c. warm water (110°F)
- 5 c. all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp. melted butter, cooled to room temp.
- 1/2 c. baking soda
- 8 c. water
- 2-3 Tbsp. flake or kosher salt, for topping
- For dipping sauce
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. Guinness or other stout, dark beer
- 1 Tbsp. Mustard
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Grease oil a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy and creamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with dough hook, mix together flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and salt. Make a well in the centre; add the butter and yeast mixture. Mix on low until dough comes together then increase speed to medium-low and knead for 4 to 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place the dough in your greased bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
- In a large pot (like a stockpot), bring 8 cups of water to boil then add baking soda (will fizz when added). When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces for jumbo knots, 12 equal pieces for regular knots, 24 pieces for mini knots, or a combination of the three (adjust for size). Roll each piece into a rope fold the rope in half around your finger, twist a couple times (2 to 3), slip off the finger, then tuck the end into the hole where your finger once was. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution, one-by-one, for 30 seconds and place on baking sheets. Sprinkle with flake or kosher salt.
- Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.
- For the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the sour cream and beer, increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the mustard and cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the grated cheese by the handful, whisking until each batch has completely melted before adding more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy immediately!
Traditionally, kartoffelpuffer, a savoury rosti-like potato fritter, is served with a dollop of applesauce. If the flavour combination sounds a little out there, stick with us. The sweet tartness of the applesauce paired with the savoury potato and onion fritters is a game changer. We’ve served our kartoffelpuffer with sour cream and dill, but they would also work well with smoked salmon and eggs for a delicious addition to your next brunch.
The best place to eat Kartoffelpuffer in Germany:
Most wine festivals in the Rhineland-Palatinate region.
- 2 large, floury potatoes (approx 600g/1.4lbs)
- 1 small, white onion
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper, ground
- peanut oil, for frying (or other high-smoke point oil, such as grapeseed or canola)
- 1 large granny smith apple
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Sour cream and dill to serve
- To make the kartoffelpuffer, shred the potatoes and onions in a food processor on the large-holed grating attachment (or by hand – sorry). Place into a clean tea towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, into a mixing bowl.
- Pour off as much as you can, leaving the milky-white sediment at the bottom of the bowl. Add in the dry potato and onion shreds, plus the flour, egg, salt and pepper, and stir until everything is combined. It should be thick, and not particularly wet.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, with about ½ inch (just over 1cm) oil in it.
- When the oil is hot, add in a heaped spoonful (you can make these as big or as small as you like) into the pan, and pat it out a little with the spoon, if needed. The mixture should sizzle straight away, but they take a while to brown and cook through – a good 2-3 minutes or so on each side.
- Transfer to a wire rack, with some paper underneath, when dark golden brown on both sides, and continue until all the mixture is used.
- To make the apple sauce, peel and finely dice the apple. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the apple, along with the sugar and cinnamon. Cook over a low heat, until the apple is translucent and soft, but still holding its shape.
- Serve the kartoffelpuffer with the apple sauce, sour cream and dill.
Don’t forget to add our pork schnitzel to your boxes now for delivery between 10th-17th November.
To discover more about the delicious food Germany has to offer, click here.