This post is sponsored and written by the Wines of Austria
When you think of Austrian cuisine, you need to think bigger than the Austria we know today.
Austrian cuisine, or Viennese cuisine, as it’s known throughout the country, is a mixture of all the culinary traditions of the many “Crown Lands” of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Recipes flowed in to the imperial kitchens from all the Empire’s peoples, and from there they made their way to dukes’ castles and eventually to middle-class tables.
© Flow Film/ Mark Ryan
The 19th century saw a vast increase in the variety of household cookbooks, with Austrians adapting original recipes from the Crown Lands and creating new dishes of their own. This was the beginning of today’s “traditional” Austrian cuisine. A very famous, traditional Austrian dish is the Wiener Schnitzel.
The classic Viennese escalope of veal is traditionally deep fried in the purest pork lard. The crispy breadcrumbs demand a crisp, structured wine.
4 veal schnitzel (escalopes) each approx. 5 oz (140g)
½ cup wheat flour (60g)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (75g)
1 cup lard (225 g)
Beat the veal to approximately 0.16 inches (4-6 mm) and add salt to both sides. Remove the skins, as to avoid it crinkling during frying.
Place three soup bowls next to each other, and put the flour into the first. Whisk the egg white and yolk from two eggs into the second bowl and place the breadcrumbs into the third.
Dip both sides of the escalope into the flour, and beat gently, as only to leave a very thin layer of flour. Then dip both sides of the escalope into the egg mixture, and allow the excess mixture to drip off before doing the same with the third bowl of breadcrumbs, and gently dry. Brush off excess breadcrumbs. The escalope is now ready to fry.
Heat a 1 inch (2-3 cm) thick piece of lard in a large, flat frying pan. The temperature is very important. If the lard fails to reach the desired temperature, the breadcrumbs will be fatty and soggy. If the fat is too hot, then the breadcrumbs will burn.
Lay the prepared escalopes next to each other in the hot lard and fry each side for approximately 1½ – 2 minutes. Gently toss the pan, so that the escalopes swim in the fat and the breadcrumbs rises.
Remove the crisply browned escalopes from the pan and dab dry with paper towel. Place them on a warmed plate. (Note: A dripping Viennese escalope is a sacrilege!)
Serve with a wedge of fresh lemon and, ideally, parsley potatoes. A salad is obligatory – the Viennese cold potato salad, lettuce, or mixed leaf salad.
Gemischter Satz Classic: a refreshing accompaniment that also pairs well with the Viennese cold potato salad.
Grüner Veltliner: Both the classically traditional style with its neutral oak, or the more opulent reserve category, offer the perfect spice and fruit extract to perfect the balance with the “Schnitzel”.
Rotgipfler, Zierfandler, Neuburger, and Austrian Pinot Blanc with fruit and creamy texture.
Red wine that is light and fruity, and ideally served slightly chilled.