Sunday, 13 May 2012

cooking tips #5

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 5

Pork Schnitzel

 Cheap easy meat dish, that can be eaten hot, cold, with salads, spuds, rice, well anything. 

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........
  • Pork lions (as many as you want, one lion makes two Schnitzels)
  • Ready made breadcrumbs (I use Paxo Golden Breadcrumbs)
  • Plain flour
  • Eggs beaten (number depends on how many Schnitzels you are making)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Meat hammer
  • Deep sided frying pan
Lets Cook
First of all we need to prepare the pork lions. We usually get ours from Asda when they are on the 3 for £10 meat pack deal. So for one of the packs you get 6 pork lions, so that's about 55p per loin and that makes 2 Schnitzels. In this example we using just 4 loins.

Pork loins ready to prepare.
First thing to do is remove and trim any fat off the loins and cut each loin into two pieces lengthways. Although pork loins do not have much fat, we remove any left over as it does not like being 'whacked' with the meat hammer as it goes all 'stringy'. Also it becomes 'tough' when fried.

Fat trimmed and cut into two.
Next we need to 'whack' the loins with the good old meat hammer. This does two things. First to make the meat thin enough to allow it to fry quickly and therefore cook properly. You need to get the meat under 5mm in thickness. Second when the meat is 'whacked' makes the meat, how can I say, un-tough when you eat it, as it is cooked relatively quickly. 
So using the meat hammer, 'whack' each side until you get the desired thickness. You don't have to mad. Just gentle to medium hits work. Best to do it on a good quality wooden chopping board and not your work top. So now you should have something like this......

After the meat hammer.
So next we need to make our 'production line'. This consists of the meat on a plate, next the flour on a plate, followed by whisked egg on a plate and finally, you guessed it, the breadcrumbs on a plate. Like so.....

The production line.
So guess what you need to do next, well....

First cover the piece of meat in flour, by lightly tapping down on both sides and then gently shake off excess. 

Next dip the floured meat in egg on both sides. Again gently shake off any excess.

Lastly before frying, lets dip in the breadcrumbs on each side.

Bread crumbing.
Now that is one done, repeat for all the meat you need to prepare. If you run out of any of the flour, egg, breadcrumbs, just add more to the plates.

All prepared, ready for frying.
Just a note, its messy work so, you will need to wash your hands a few times.

Well its time to fry. To start with fill a deep sided frying pan with about 5cms of vegetable oil. This needs to be heated first to just above a medium heat. Once ready gently put in two of the prepared pieces. Let fry for a three or four minutes. Then turn over and do the same. The whole process should not take more than eight minutes at the most. Two things you need to worry about is, first make sure the oil is not to hot or cold and second that the breadcrumbs to not over cook and burn. 

Once done take out and drain on kitchen paper. Continue with the next two and so on. If you are doing a large batch then if the oil becomes a dirty black then replace the old oil with new. Then continue.

Cooked. One cut in half.
That is it. The beauty of this recipe. Is that it can be eaten straight away hot or it is great cold for example when packed in tin foil for a picnic. If you having a BBQ and make this before, it makes a great alternative for people who are fed up with the normal BBQ fare. It can be eaten with any 'side' you like (salad, chips, mash, rice, gravy, dips). Also it makes a great filling for a sandwich. We just love it.

I hope you will try and enjoy. 

Cooked and written by Gerry.

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