My friend B., a true Bavarian woman, prepares the best Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese breaded and fried veal cutlet). Since she once cooked this for us some years ago, we always ask for it whenever we visit her, although she cooks and bakes a lot of other things very good, too (she has a mean tiramisu, but that is for another time). I always wanted to learn her secret. Sure, you have to use the best veal you can find, otherwise it is not fit to be called Wiener Schnitzel, but her Schnitzel has this light and airy quality, the coating doesn’t stuck, it is perfectly golden and crisp with no blackened specks and it tastes so other-worldly.
This is her secret:
Start with vegetable oil, end with butter! Now there are all kinds of recommendations out there for frying things, but this one here for a Schnitzel, it makes really sense: You start frying in vegetable oil, which heats up higher (and better) than butter, so you get the fluffy crumb. It doesn’t burn like butter would do if you used it all the way, so there are no black spots and burnt taste. And the butter in the end gives the great butter taste, which plain oil would lack. I also argued in favor of Butterschmalz (clarified butter, like ghee) which has a high burning point, but it really lacks the fresh butter flavor this method brings.
So next time you are frying a bread-crumbed cutlet, try this out. You will see it is the best method!
Drink: Best with Wiener Schnitzel is a fresh and light Grüner Veltliner (dry white wine from Vienna, Austria); what grows together, goes together!