Pork schnitzel

A quick and easy recipe that can be adapted to suit the accompaniments you fancy, or have to hand.  Like most of the things I prepare reasonably often, it’s not really a recipe at all so much as a way of getting something tasty fast, with only the main ingredient to track down.  The rest you can improvize out of what’s lurking in your kitchen cupboards.
As usual, if you can get to a good butcher or market stall – someone who looks after the meat they sell – the results will be more pleasing than if you buy from the supermarket shelves.  Pork steaks are so lean that any extra you spend isn’t wasted.
Pork schnitzel (serves at least 2)
one pork steak (aka tenderloin)
an egg or so
a lemon
thyme, maybe sage
salt and pepper
oil or butter for frying
Trim from the pork steak any remaining fat, connective tissue &c.  No need to go nuts about this.  Cut the steak into chunks about an inch and a half long.  Put each chunk in turn, cut sides up and down, between two sheets of greaseproof paper or stoutish plastic (the waxed paper breakfast cereals were packed in in ancient times would be perfect) and wallop it with a rolling pin or similar until it’s roundish and significantly thinner than it was to begin with.  Put the flattened pieces in a bowl as you go, and then squeeze lemon juice over them.  You may want to give them a squish about with your hand or a spoon to distribute the juice evenly.
Season the flour to your liking, maybe with paprika and thyme and salt and (white?) pepper.  Sage or rosemary could take the place of the thyme.  I’ve never tried ground coriander and ginger, but they might work too.  And so on.
In a shallow bowl or on a plate, beat the egg.  Have another egg on standby.  Put the breadcrumbs on yet another plate.  You could season these too.
Coat each piece of lemony pork in the seasoned flour, then coat it in egg and finally in breadcrumbs.  All that’s left to do now is fry the schnitzels in oil or butter over a medium high heat until they’re irresistible.  If you’re fast with the flouring, egging and breadcrumbing, you can add them to the pan as you go.  Otherwise put the schnitzels on a rack, or more greaseproof paper, until they’re all ready to cook, which is probably easier on the nerves.
Serve hot with more lemon to squeeze over, and whatever accompaniments grab you: lettuce salad? chips? potato puree and green beans? – or you could make a big dirty po’boyish thing with French bread and mayo and lettuce and tomato for anyone who may have worked hard enough in the garden to deserve a treat.
The wine match
Whatever your favourite colour of wine, this is a recipe that will suit them all, though it’s a good idea to keep to the lighter, less tannic reds because of the delicate flavour of the meat and the acidity of the lemon juice.  It’s an ideal opportunity to break out the rosé, whether it’s Santa Alicia’s juicy Cab-Shiraz or the equally cheerful Grenache from Woodstock.  Pork steak cooked this way is more than a little reminiscent of the veal-based Wiener Schnitzel, so our brand new Grüner Veltliner with its racy freshness would complete the effect if you were going to serve Austrian-style potato salad and capers on the side and wanted an appropriate white wine.  And red fans could do worse than tether a not-too-full-bodied flying pig to their frying pig.


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