Whether you write this Jagerschnitzel or the proper German way, Jägerschnitzel or Jaegerschnitzel, it's that heavenly combination of a rich creamy bacon & mushroom gravy over crispy breaded pork schnitzel (cutlets).
Then again, traditional and authentic in a German sense means that there are all sorts of variations. Some love to serve this amazing mushroom sauce over plain schnitzel, meaning that they haven't been breaded, as shown here.
Some insist that the traditional Jäger gravy (Hunter's sauce) has to be made with wine. Some insist on red wine. Others only use white wine.
Others absolutely don't want the bacon. Some insist on Pfifferlinge or Chanterelles for the mushrooms. Others use a mixture of different mushrooms or just plain button ones.
Even with all these variations, this is German food at its finest. A traditional German meal that's PERFECT anytime.
I usually make mine the way my Mutti made it. Traditional in our family.
Her recipe included breaded pork cutlets, pounded thin, and covered in an amazing sauce that had a bit of a spicy taste, a touch of paprika, and bacon. So wunderbar!
Definition of TRADITION:
meaning just the way my (your) Mutti and my (your) Oma did it.
Literally, that means that there are so many traditional recipes for Jagerschnitzel, all that are authentic German recipes, you can choose just the one that matches your taste buds.
The German word schnitzel (Middle High German: snitzel) is a diminutive of sniz meaning 'slice'.
Therefore, the actual definition of schnitzel is: a thin slice of meat, usually tenderized by pounding, coated in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, and then pan-fried until perfectly crispy with a deep golden brown crispy breading that covers the tender, juicy meat.
The history of Schnitzel spans over 2,000 years and involves the Romans, the Italians, the Austrians, AND the Germans!
The original Wiener Schnitzel is thought to come from Vienna, Austria in the 1600's. By law, this needs to be made from veal. If it's not made with veal, it must be labelled as coming from pork or chicken, etc.
In Germany, most Schnitzel are made from pork, so when it's advertised in restaurants and at the butchers, it's labelled as Schweineschnitzel.
Schnitzel is actually a method of cooking. Cutting meat thin and pounding it tender with a meat mallet or meat pounder. This is used throughout Germany, not just for pork, but also veal, chicken, turkey, and game.
And when it's covered in this heavenly creamy mushroom sauce, it is pure delight for the taste buds. Comfort food at its best!
Since it can be difficult to find schnitzel ready to cook, I usually take thick boneless pork chops, such as these, and butterfly them.
Once the pork meat is ready, sprinkle it with some lemon juice and a bit of salt.
Place all-purpose flour, egg wash (a mixture of eggs and water), and plain breadcrumbs each in their own shallow bowl. Then dredge each schnitzel, first in the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the bread crumbs.
Heat some butter and vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet and fry the schnitzel until golden brown. Voilà! An easy 30-minute weeknight dinner!
For the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make traditional German Schnitzel, see my recipe here.
But, before you bread and fry the schnitzel, do make the creamy mushroom gravy first (recipe below). It can sit, once it's done, covered to keep it warm. If you need to, you can quickly reheat it just before serving.
Gather your ingredients and get all the chopping and measuring done. Decide what liquid you're going to use. Broth works wonderfully. Wine is great too. Choose your favorite.
For the bacon, if you have access to a really good German bacon, please do use it. If not, just the regular breakfast bacon works as well. That's what I've done here.
When you are frying the onion and bacon, do this over a medium heat. You want to render the bacon fat and you want the onions to be translucent.
My onions got a touch golden and that's OK.
Stir in your sliced mushrooms. I've used common button mushrooms, but you can choose your favorite variety.
I stir this continually, since I don't want those onions remaining at the bottom of the pan to get too dark.
The mushrooms will give off liquid as they cook, they will shrink in size, and they will get nice and tender. Keep cooking until they look like this:
Once the mushrooms are a nice brown color, add the tomato paste, your liquid, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. The amount of seasonings to add will depend on your liquid.
If the broth is already seasoned, you'll need to add just a touch. Stir to mix and let it come to a simmer.
Once the simmering has reduced the gravy and it's actually a bit creamy, add your sour cream, stir, and re-season. If the gravy is still too liquid, you can thicken it with a bit of a cornstarch slurry.
Done! If you need to keep this warm, while you wait to fry up your schnitzel, just cover and let it sit on the lowest setting on your stove, as long as it doesn't actually come to a simmer.
If your stove doesn't have a low enough setting, just let it sit on the turned off burner. When you are ready to serve, let it come to simmer briefly to reheat.
Above, I've served the delicious mushroom sauce over breaded pork schnitzel with a side of mashed potatoes. Nothing else needed. Heaven!
There are traditional accompaniments such as
* * * * *