“This is a keeper!”
Those were pretty much the first words out of hubby’s mouth after finishing the meal. I must admit this is pretty damned good, too. In my usual frugal manner, I had picked up some super-thin cut pork loins in the 50% off bin and was randomly searching the interwebz and Pinterest what to make with them and Voila! Not only did bacon and mushroom gravy catch my eye, but so did the unusual name.
Jager (properly spelled Jäger in German) loosely means hunter, named after the German military term for rifle-armed infantry. In short, “hunter’s cutlet” and the dish was originally made with thinly pounded venison or wild boar backstrap. In the U.S., it is typically made with pork.
If you do not pour sauce over all the cutlets, then the schnitzels reheat beautifully with a light spray of oil in the toaster oven. The meal is typically served with spaetzle or noodles, but I served Brussels sprouts instead. Hey, that’s close to Germany! This isn’t the quickest dinner to make in the book, but it is so very worth the time. It took me about an hour and a half but if you have all your ducks in a row (i.e. prep everything ahead of time) then you could probably make it in an hour. Guten Appetit!
Jagerschnitzel with Mushroom Gravy and Bacon
Adapted from Guy Fieri and The Food Network
1 1/4 pounds thin-cut pork loin (or pounded thin)
3/4 cup flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt or Mrs. Dash
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
3/4 cup crushed unsalted crackers
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (1 more if thin-cut)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine
Olive oil, for frying
2 cups beef stock, homemade or high-quality store-bought
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
If your pork slices are not already thin, pound them thin until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Trim the fat off the pork edges. On a plate, mix together 1/2 cup flour with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. In a bowl, combine egg, milk and mustard. On another plate, combine crushed crackers and panko.
Dredge pork slices first in flour, then in egg wash, then in the crumbs. Set on a cooling rack above a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
In a cast iron skillet (or other heavy pan), cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add the onions and saute for several minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for about five more minutes until the mushrooms have browned.
Stir in 1/4 cup flour and continue stirring until you have a light brown roux. Add the wine and cook for a few more minutes until it’s reduced by 1/3, then add the beef stock. Continue cooking to reduce by 1/3 again. Season with salt and pepper then keep warm on low.
Heat 1/4-inch oil in another cast iron skillet (or heavy pan) until it bubbles when you insert a wooden chopstick to the bottom. In batches, cook pork evenly on both sides, about five minutes for the first side, several more minutes for the second.
Remove to a platter and continue cooking until all cutlets are done. Add butter to sauce, stirring until it has melted. To serve, cover pork with sauce and garnish with chopped bacon and fresh parsley.