Pork schnitzel is an extremely popular dish in Central Europe and for a good reason. It’s fairly simple to prepare, it’s very kid friendly, it tastes great even when cold… the perfect choice for home cooking.
When talking about “schnitzel” in general, The Wiener type made from veal is likely the most known, but you can use other types of meat as well and reach great results. Pork, beef… even chicken breasts work wonders and kids love this variety.
But let’s talk about PORK SCHNITZEL now since that’s what this blog post is about, right? 🙂
Probably the most commonly used cut for a pork schnitzel would be the pork loin and it tastes really great, when cooked properly. However, this cut of meat tends to become somewhat dry when fried for too long. That’s why I’m often using pork tenderloin instead.
Tenderloin is more… well tender as the name of the cut suggests, it cooks quicker than the loin and personally, I prefer the taste better too. Schnitzels made from tenderloin are smaller in size, almost like medallions or larger sized nuggets and my kids kind of love them because of that.
What to serve with pork schnitzel?
There are quite a few options here. You can serve these pork schnitzels with rice, baked or mashed potatoes but the real classic side dish is definitely a potato salad with mayonnaise! It’s also the most traditional way of serving a schnitzel, so that’s what I’m gonna go for today too. The good thing about schnitzels is that they taste great even when cold, simple with a slice of bread, that’s what my kids do all the time. Because of this, pork schnitzels are awesome make ahead food as well… great for road trips or camping 🙂
One way or another, whatever you decide to serve your pork schnitzel with, you’re up for a treat.
Let’s start cooking.
Pork Schnitzel Recipe Ingredients
For the pork schnitzels:
2 pork tenderloins about 500g (1 pound) each
approx. 300g (2 cups) all purpose flour
approx. 300g (3 cups) breadcrumbs
salt & pepper to taste
For the potato salad
1kg (2lb) potatoes (some waxy type)
8-10 pickled cucumbers
3-4 tbsp. pickle juice
1 cup canned carrots + peas
½ cup of canned sweet corn
250g (1 cup) mayonnaise
250g (1 cup) sour cream
1 large onion (sauteed)
salt & pepper to taste
How To Make Pork Schnitzels With Potato Mayonnaise Salad
Watch the video or scroll down for step-by-step instructions:
We will start with the salad, since it needs some time to absorb all the flavors, while chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This salad is traditionally served cold, so give it the time it needs to cool down properly.
1. Boil the potatoes with their skin on in generously salted water. Keep in mind that we don’t want to overcook the potatoes or they would start to fall apart. 20-25 minutes of boiling should be enough. It’s best to use some waxy type, since these hold their shape better when cooked… Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn and most red potatoes are a great choice.
Here is a great resource on the various potato types, if you’re unsure about which one to use: https://www.potatogoodness.com/potato-types/
2. Once boiled, let the potatoes cool down and then remove the skin. Dice the potatoes with a knife or using a hand dicer, if you have one. I prefer to go for a pretty fine cut, but some people prefer larger pieces… choose whatever fits your preferences.
3. Now it’s time to add all the ingredients into a large bowl. You’re going to need 250g (1 cup) of mayonnaise, 250g (1 cup) of sour cream, 1 cup of canned carrots and peas mix, ½ cup of canned sweet corn, 8-10 finely diced pickled cucumbers and also some of the sweet & sour pickle juice. Season with salt and black pepper.
The last ingredient to add is one large diced onion that we need to sauté for a few minutes. The sautéing helps to minimize the bloating effect, but if that’s not of concern, you can use raw onion too.
4. Mix everything together properly, but try to go gentle at it so you don’t break the potatoes and turn this into a mash 🙂 This salad should be somewhat sour in taste, so add more of that pickle juice or even some lime juice, if needed. Once mixed properly, put the salad into the fridge and let it sit and chill for at least 30 minutes.
TIP: The potatoes tend to absorb the salt while the salad chills in the fridge, so make sure you give it a taste before serving and add more salt if needed. The salad needs to be intense in flavor!
5. Let’s prepare the schnitzels now. Clean the meat and remove any excess fat and silver skin. I’ve used 2 pork tenderloins, but feel free to use more or less, depending on how many eaters you have lined up 🙂 Cut the tenderloins into 1-1.5 cm (½ inch) pieces and place them on a cutting board.
6. Pound each piece with a meat mallet from both sides, but please, just a few hits per side. Do not turn the tasty meat slices into paper sheets 🙂
7. Once pounded, season both sides with salt and pepper and set aside. Now we need to coat the pork schnitzels. I’m using a deep baking dish, because it’s large enough to handle several pieces at once and I’m making less mess this way.
8. Personally, I start by coating all the meat pieces in flour first. This way, the flour has a few minutes to absorb the moisture and sticks to the meat better. And I can re-use the same dish for the breadcrumbs… having less dishes to clean is always nice, isn’t it?
9. Now beat a few eggs in a bowl and properly season them with salt and pepper. I’m not seasoning the flour, nor the breadcrumbs so do not forget to season the eggs. For the breading, I prefer to use plain breadcrumbs, but you can also opt in to use panko or any other type, just skip the seasoned ones.
10. You know what to do next, I’m sure 🙂 Put the meat into the eggs first, then coat them with bread crumbs… easy process. Repeat until all the schnitzels are coated nicely and place them on a plate.
11. The last thing to do is to fry our pork schnitzels. If you want to be as authentic as possible, you should use clarified butter (ghee), that’s what people used traditionally. Pork lard works amazing too, but most people use vegetable oil these days.
12. Heat the oil to medium high, do not go for the maximum temperature as the breadcrumbs could burn easily. Pork tenderloin cooks quickly, so you will only need about 3 minutes per side… or watch the color, once it turns golden brown we are done.
13. And it’s time to serve. Simply place 2 or 3 pork schnitzels on a plate, add the salad and a slice of lemon if that’s your thing. Personally, I’m not using lemon all that much but some people love to put some lemon juice onto their pork schnitzels so definitely give it a try. You can also use some parsley leaves to decorate the plate.
Optional tips For This Recipe:
- When using a different type/cut of meat, make sure to adjust the frying time and oil temperature. Beef needs to cook for longer and it’s a good idea to pound it thinner. You will also need to fry for longer, so decrease the temperature a bit. Chicken on the other hand cooks faster so go for a thicker cut and fry on higher heat for a shorter period of time.
- If you prefer more intense tastes, season the flour or breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
- Are you a fan of spicy food? Add some chilly sauce into the eggs.
- When making the salad, you can double the dose of mayonnaise and skip the sour cream or vice versa. With mayo only, the salad will have a more intense taste but will be harder to digest. The version with sour cream only has a lighter taste. I prefer the 50/50 ratio.
- Pork schnitzels taste great even when cold, so it’s the perfect make ahead type of food. The salad will last for about 3 days, when stored in the fridge, so don’t be afraid to make it in larger quantities. It will actually get just better with time.
- Looking for an alternative side dish? You can serve pork schnitzel with rice, baked potatoes, boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes.
Pork Schnitzel With Traditional Potato Mayonnaise Salad
For the schnitzels
- 2 pork tenderloins about 500g (1 pound) each
- 3-4 eggs
- 300g all purpose flour
- 300g breadcrumbs
- salt & pepper to taste
For the salad
- 1 kg potatoes (some waxy type)
- 8-10 pickled cucumbers diced
- 3-4 tbsp pickle juice
- 1 cup canned carrots + peas
- ½ cup of canned sweet corn
- 250 g mayonnaise
- 250 g sour cream
- 1 large onion sauteed
- salt & pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes with their skin on for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and remove skin
- Dice the potatoes finely and add them to a large bowl
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix properly.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then give it a taste add salt if needed.
- Clean the pork tenderloin and remove silver skin.
- Cut into thicker pieces, 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch.
- Pound the meat from both sides lightly.
- Season with salt and pepper and coat in flour.
- Beat 3-4 eggs and prepare the breadcrumbs.
- Coat each piece in the eggs first, then the breadcrumbs.
- Fry at medium high in vegetable oil, lard or clarified butter.
- Once the color turns golden brown, the schnitzels are ready.
- Serve with potato salad, slice of lemon and parsley for garnish.