It is 1 a.m., and I am standing in the stove, hammering my wok and observing waves of melted lard pass above a pork cutlet that’s verging on the ideal color of gold.
Jamón, my shar-pei and also the principal taste-tester for this specific recipe, looks up at me, and I notice the gratifying similarity between his thick, ribbonlike springs along with the waves of crust in my cutlet.
I recover the cutlet in the sexy fat and move into a plate lined with paper towels, lightly blotting oil out of the surface, and also pause for a minute to react to my spouse, Adri, who is texting me out of bed to ask when I will be completed. In spite of complete venting, the scents of my late-night skillet marathons have been sufficient to keep her up at nighttime.
Steam wafts outside, along with the sparse cutlet glistens with juiciness in its gold cave. “That is the only real,” I presume.
I need to back up for some time and explain just what I mean by”ideal” schnitzel, because it is barely a shameful subject.
In Bavaria and fundamental Austria, in which I traveled ahead of creating the opening menu to the beer hall in California, this is the way many schnitzel has been served.
But possibly the most renowned breaded cutlet on the planet comes out of Vienna. The Wiener schnitzel includes its own type of geometry, one that is difficult to understand until you have tried it.
For mepersonally, that arrived in 2013, in Harold Dieterle’s West Village restaurant that the Marrow (that shut at 2014), in which finely pounded duck breast arrived nearly floating in an puffed crust. The magical of Viennese schnitzel is at how in which the cook coaxes the crust to puff off in the beef, a procedure called soufflieren from German. The beef, well insulated from the layer of atmosphere between it and the hot fat, cooks softly, while the crust accomplishes an ethereally delicate crispness, rich in flavor but light on the palate.
What exactly are the components that go into producing a Viennese-style schnitzel? Or, conversely, a schnitzel where crust and meat stick together and provide a meatier, crunchier snack?
As the cutlet chips, steam discharged by the meat is trapped at the elastic, airtight seal made by the eggs since they scatter the bread crumbs and start to set. If all goes well, the steam inflates the breading coating, which separates in the cutlet and puffs until it completely crisps.
So, milk, pasta, eggs, bread crumbs, fat and fry: This was where I concentrated my testing.