A schnitzel is a “cutlet” that consists of pounded lean meat. There are veal schnitzel, pork schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, and beef schnitzel (among others). They are typically floured and drenched in beaten egg and bread crumbs. Fried to perfection in butter, they are delicious – a staple in the cuisine of our German and Austrian followers. They are similar to the French escalope or the milanesa of South America. Our favorite version is an oven-baked pork schnitzel with a low-carb mushroom gravy. Watch how we dramatically lower the carbs and maintain all of the taste!
If made with veal it would be called “Weiner Schnitzel” and would usually have a lemon on top and be absent the gravy. Pork schnitzel would be called “Schweineschnitzel” and adding the mushroom gravy would make it “Jäegarschnitzel,” although our gravy does not have bacon or onion. Regardless of what you call this tasty tender meat dish, it is a perfect low-carb meal. When combined with a delicious cauliflower mash and a side plate of simple blanched green beans you have a recipe that will become a mainstay of your low-carb lifestyle.
We usually use thinly cut pork chops for this recipe but any tender cut will work. Joanie found what was labeled a “pork steak” – or simply a “shoulder steak.” The pork chop comes from the loin and are generally a bit dry whereas the pork steak is from the shoulder and is generally more tender. It may have a bit more fat. Pork steaks work well for this recipe as they do not take much pounding and stay tender when baked.
Combining chicharrones and parmesan cheese will make the perfect crunchy breading for our pork schnitzel. A light coating of olive oil helps the coating to stick and adds to the crunchiness. Joanie also adds garlic powder, salt, and pepper to her coating mixture. You can adjust those to your taste.
Joanie flattens the meat to approximately one-quarter of an inch thickness using two pieces of plastic wrap and the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Heavier plastic storage bags and the flat side of a heavy pan work just as well.
Our recipe for chicharrones will help in preparing the crumbs. We often use a food chopper for uniformity, but Joanie likes the crumbs a bit larger so she uses a plastic bag and a rolling pin. The crumbs are combined with the parmesan, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. The pork is lightly rubbed with olive oil to hold the coating and then placed on a baking sheet coated with oil to avoid sticking. You could also coat a cooking rack and use that inside your baking sheet.
Baking our schnitzel helps to maintain the crunchiness of the crumbs. Since chicharrones are basically pork fat they tend to breakdown and become chewy when fried. Baking is also a healthy alternative. We bake the schnitzel at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. To avoid sticking they should be transferred from the pan immediately when removed from the oven.
The gravy is simple. Sliced mushrooms are lightly sautéed in butter then set aside to avoid overcooking. We then use the same pan to combine the heavy cream, sherry, sour cream, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, and Dijon mustard. We add back the mushrooms before the gravy becomes too thickened – heat – and serve over the schnitzel. If you want a traditional Jäegerschnitzel, cook some bacon first, remove and cut into small pieces, sauté a medium chopped onion in the bacon fat then add a little butter and cook the mushrooms per our recipe. Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top as a final garnish.
Either way, it will be delicious! You now have a finished pork schnitzel with mushroom gravy!
A small glass of a blended Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect with this dish since the carbs are low and the taste is sky high! Make sure you also check out our cauliflower mash recipe – it adds so much to the meal.
Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy
- Pound pork steaks between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with flat side of a meat tenderizer, until flattened to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Make chicharrone crumbs by placing chicharrones in a plastic bag and smashing with a rolling pin (or use a food chopper).
- Combine the crumbs with the cheese and seasonings. Mix well in a shallow bowl.
- Rub pork cutlets on both sides with olive oil and then dip into the crumb mixture. Place on a baking pan coated with olive oil or a baking rack inside the baking pan.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove immediately with a spatula to avoid sticking.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan and cook the sliced mushrooms over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the sauté pan and cook until thickening begins 3-4 minutes.
- Place the mushrooms back into the pan to heat through, stirring as you go, and serve after 2 minutes.