Schnitzel is really delicious and fairly simple to make, but there is a bit of cleanup afterwards. It can be made with just about any kind of meat or fowl, wild or domestic. It isn’t a very common dish locally and is really delicious using some of that 100 or so pounds of moose meat in your freezer.
Schnitzel can be made from steaks, roasts or chunks, which should be cut across the grain about ½-inch thick, with any silver skin or gristly bits removed.
They really spread out when pounded, so don’t start off with too big a piece. If your piece ends up larger than you want, just cut it in half or into thirds.
1. Lay some pieces on the cutting board and cover with clear plastic wrap (or do it outside) and pound it with a meat mallet until it is about half as thick as it started off. This pounding breaks down the fibres in the meat, making it extremely tender. The first couple of times you prepare it will tell you about how much pounding is needed. It is important to note that the meat mallet will ruin a wooden cutting board, leaving it full of dents. After pounding, the meat piece will be at least twice the size as it was to start with.
2. Season the pieces with salt and pepper. Lay 3 shallow dishes on the counter. In the first dish, put about 1 cup of all-purpose flour. In the second, put 2 eggs, whisked with ½ cup of lemon juice; and in the third, a cup or more of bread crumbs (spiced or plain).
3. Begin heating ¼-inch of olive oil (my preference) or other oil in one or two frying pans (cast iron pans are best). Place the pounded meat pieces, one at a time, into the flour (both sides), then into the egg-lemon mix, then both sides in the bread crumbs.
4. At medium heat, place the meat pieces, without crowding, into the hot oil. Cook 3–5 minutes, each side (the tops will become red with juices as it cooks). Both sides will take on a dark, cooked colour when they are done.
5. When all the pieces are done (they can be kept covered while the last ones cook), serve with lemon slices on top and have lemon juice available for sprinkling on them.
Depending on how much you have cooked, there may not be any leftovers, but this meat dish is really delicious as a sandwich filler or just finger food, the following day.
The three shallow dishes used in preparation will be much easier to clean and put back in the pantry if they are soaked for an hour or two to loosen the flour and hardened soggy bread crumbs.
Any cut will work for this dish, provided you remove all gristle and/or silver skin.