Wiener Schnitzel (a pounded, breaded and fried veal cutlet) is one of the great Austrian dishes, but I also dearly love its dressed-up German cousin Schnitzel à la Holstein.
Named after Baron Friedrich von Holstein (1837–1909), the primary German diplomat after Otto von Bismarck, serving Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The gourmet Holstein liked to have a variety of foods on one plate, and the original dish consisted of a veal cutlet topped by a fried egg, anchovies, capers, and parsley, and surrounded by small piles of caviar, crayfish tails, smoked salmon, mushrooms, and truffles.
Contemporary versions tend to be pared down to the cutlet, egg, anchovies and capers. That said, if you’re so inclined (and I occasionally am) please feel free to go back to the original garnishes for a true Lucullian feast! 🙂
My tweak to the original recipe is to add flowering thyme buds to the dish – feel free to substitute fresh thyme leaves or omit, as you see fit.
Also be sure and keep your eggs yolks runny, as they are an integral part of the sauce for this dish. The anchovies must be meaty and of top-quality as well.
It’s not a difficult recipe and I hope you will give it a try, Citizens! 🙂
Battle on, The Generalissimo
1 cup flour
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
½ cup milk
4 (3-oz.), ⅛”-thick veal cutlets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oil-packed anchovy filets (I strongly recommend Ortiz brand – they are the best!)
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp. thyme flowers from flowering thyme sprigs
1 ½ tsp. finely chopped capers
1 tsp. whole capers
A good splash of white wine
Juice of ½ lemon + extra if needed
Place flour and crumbs on separate plates, and whisk milk and 2 eggs in a bowl. Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Coat cutlets in flour, then egg mixture, then dredge in crumbs.
Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cutlets and cook, turning, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with 2 tbsp. butter and remaining cutlets. Reserve skillet, do not wash.
Bring new skillet to heat. Add 2 tbsp. butter; crack remaining eggs into skillet; cook until whites are just firm, about 2-3 minutes. Place an egg on each cutlet; crisscross 2 anchovies over each. Keep warm in a low oven.
Return Veal skillet to heat and deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any browned bits. Add remaining butter; cook, swirling, until brown and nutty, about 30 seconds. Stir in parsley, capers, and lemon juice; taste – if it needs more lemon juice, add it (it should be quite sharp tasting).
Pour sauce over cutlets. Sprinkle thyme flowers over all and serve immediately.