Crispy and crunchy, yet moist, is how I would describe my first Weiner Schnitzel. Having arrived in Vienna for the first time, eating Schnitzel was at the top of our to-do list. As I watched the kitchen work, I remember being amazed that they could so quickly pound the pork so flat, sautee it to perfect crispiness, yet still retain the moist and flavorful interior that I’d expect of Roast Chicken.
In culinary school, I learned exactly how to make that Schnitzel and realized that when you’re looking for a quick-cooking meal, Sauteeing is the way to go. Using high heat and a small amount of fat, you can very quickly cook up a chicken breast, a pork chop or even a lean cut of beef.
Using the Concentration method, Sauteing involves cooking a small tender piece quickly in a small amount of hot fat.
- Best for small tender cuts of meat and other proteins
- Also useful for vegetables and eggs
A few things to consider:
- As you’re using high heat, avoid burning your fat by using a fat with a high smoke point (i.e. canola oil, clarified butter, etc…) – butter and olive oil burn very quickly
- Sauteeing is best for thin and flat cuts of meat which will cook through in the amount of time it takes you to create a nice brown crust
- When sauteeing, DO NOT OVERLOAD the pan – give your meat space to brown or you’ll end up boiling your meat in its juices
- Dredging your meat in flour just before sauteing helps to develop the crust OR you may prefer to bread your meat by 1) dredging it in seasoned flour 2) dipping it in egg and 3) coating it with breadcrumbs
- If you’re going to use a thicker or irregularly shaped cut of meat, you’ll need to add more fat to the pan, then brown the piece on high heat but then lower the heat to allow the meat time to cook through without burning – this is considered Pan-Frying
- Season with salt and pepper (if cooking meat, store seasoned piece in fridge overnight when possible to maximize flavor absorption)
- Bring to room temperature
- Dry your piece thoroughly to help produce a nice brown crust
- In a pan, heat a small of amount of fat until it’s very hot and sear the piece by browning the exterior
- Flip and baste with fat to ensure even cooking and moistness
- Remove from heat and allow to rest to redistribute juices
- Serve with a sauce on the side or with butter on top of the meat