Pork Schnitzel with Mustard Cream, Spätzle and Cabbage & Apples

I started making this dish, almost a decade ago. It’s one of my favorite dishes to serve during Oktoberfest, though it’s also just a really great Autumn dish. It’s extremely easy to make, so I didn’t provide an actual recipe, but will give some guidelines.

Since there are so few ingredients, you really need to start with the best quality pork, preferable from a locally-raised heritage breed pig. For me, that means starting with pork from Autumn Olive Farms. Lately, I’ve been using their boneless pork chops which are butchered in-house at our local grocery store, The Common Market.

I take an 8-ounce pork chop and slice it horizontally, leaving all that delicious, healthy fat on there. Then the meat goes on a cutting board, is covered with plastic wrap, and pounded thinly. Next, I follow a traditional breading procedure. Dip the pork into flour, then whisked egg, and finally panko bread crumbs. The flour and panko should be seasoned, but not overly so. I like to use just salt and black pepper. The panko can be ground finer by giving it a quick blitz in a food processor if you like, but that’s not necessary.

I think a lot of people worry about frying at home. This dish doesn’t have to be deep-fried, but a good shallow fry is necessary. When I have excess pork fat, I’ll render it, and keep some in both the fridge and freezer. For this dish, I like to blend some of the rendered pork fat with an oil that has a high smoke point. This adds a little bit of extra porkiness to the dish. The schnitzel usually is done cooking in five minutes, give or take.

If you’re interested in a spätzle recipe, here’s a link to the one I usually use. It’s from Tyler Florence, and can be found on the Food Network website. I didn’t make any adjustments to it at all.

You can make a fancy mustard cream sauce to go on the pork, but I keep it simple. I just heat up a little heavy cream with some whole-grain mustard, and adjust the seasoning with both salt and pepper as needed. I really want to let the pork shine. If anyone wants more guidance on how to make this dish, as always you can send me an email at Perfect Little Bites@gmail.com

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