Jaegerschnitzel - The Unbreaded Truth

by chefkeem

Jaegerschnitzel - what is it? Breaded or unbreaded? What is a good jaeger sauce recipe? Find answers, pictures, and authoritative info from a native Bavarian chef.

I've had tons of Jaegerschnitzel in my life, simply because I was born and raised (you guessed it - on Jaegerschnitzels) in Munich, Germany. For this traditional dish, the meat is NEVER breaded.

Right away - "Jaeger" is German for "hunter". Hunters can be found in the woods. So do mushrooms. A proper Jaegerschnitzel recipe calls for a hearty mushroom sauce. Get it?

After my emigration to Austin, Texas, in 1981, I became a chef. Fast-forward to 2009...

A Jaegerschnitzel is NOT a Wiener Schnitzel

Listen up, America!

A group of investors wanted to open an authentic German restaurant in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. They asked me to be their executive chef. Sure, sounds like fun! 

JaegerschnitzelOur menu featured some of the typical German specialties: bratwurst, sauerkraut, red cabbage, rouladen, pork roast, dumplings, wiener schnitzel, and, of course - jaegerschnitzel...lightly pounded cutlets from a pork loin, sauteed to a golden brown, and served with a mushroom sauce.

One evening I was called to a table in the dining room. A guest was upset and wanted to have a word with the chef...

"Excuse me - you want to call yourself a German restaurant and you don't even know how to prepare a Jaegerschnitzel?" 

Um...what do you mean, Sir? (Me, still polite and curious.)

"This ain't no Jaegerschnitzel!"

Oh yes it is, Sssir. (You know...how cops say "Sir".)

"Listen...I've had them in a lotta places all over Texas, and if I know one thing it's that a Jaegerschnitzel is breaded!" 

Instead of running him through the meat tenderizer, I sat down and explained why he is wrong, and why I should know better because of my personal background and professional expertise.

He finally proved his complete comprehension by simply stating, "I want mine breaded." 

Upon further research---and to be somewhat fair to this guest---I found out that most German restaurants in Texas serve Wiener Schnitzels (breaded) with mushroom sauce and then call them "Jaegerschnitzels". Oh well...they sure taste good...so, why not?

Breaded "Jaegerschnitzel" on a bun

...as it is served in Texas
Jaegerschnitzel - The American Way
Jaegerschnitzel - The American Way

Jaegerschnitzel Recipe

including an easy way to make a good sauce
  • Take a 1/2 inch slice of pork loin and gently pound it to an approximate thickness of 1/4 inch.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Perhaps a bit granulated garlic, if you like.
  • Cover the bottom of a saute pan with oil and bring it up to a medium-high heat.
  • Pan-fry the schnitzel until it is nicely brown on both sides.
  • This is a fairly quick process and shouldn't take longer than 2 minutes, or so.
  • The goal is to cook the cutlet to a medium-well and then transfer it to a warm plate. The carry-over heat will finish the cooking process.

Jaeger Sauce Recipe - The Easy Way

  • Get yourself a good-quality brown sauce or mushroom sauce mix from the store.
  • Prepare the desired amount of sauce, according to the directions on the package.
  • Refining the packaged sauce:
  • In a sauce pan with a small amount of oil, saute chopped onions and sliced mushrooms until lightly browned and cooked through. During the last minute of cooking, add a teaspoon of finely minced, fresh garlic.
  • Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of red wine; reduce for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the previously prepared packaged sauce to the mushroom/onion mix.
  • Combine well and bring to a brief simmer.
  • Serve the jaegersauce over the breaded or unbreaded jaegerschnitzels. 

I used to run a German food trailer in Downtown Austin

Of course we served Jaegerschnitzel at "Chef Keem's Bavarian Bistro" (during the Texas summer heat!)

What is your favorite "Americanized" German food?

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Good choice. Mine, too!
Updated: 02/21/2014, chefkeem
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Have you ever had a Jaegerschnitzel? Do you like it breaded or unbreaded?

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frankbeswick on 07/29/2016

You know well my love of mushrooms.

Veronica on 07/29/2016

What a fantastic piece and I am very interested to see the traditional way of doing your schnitzel. It looks lovely.

I have visited Austria and also the North Dolomites and I had their variations on German foods. I think the biggest difference was in the Strudels which really differed from village to village. All delicious, all slightly different.

I think what happened to you in Texas is what happens over here in restaurants. The food served is anglicized Italian, Indian, Chinese food and so it isn't always similar to the home country cooking. People then are disappointed when food isn't like the mother country. I am the same with Irish food or Irish soda bread. What passes for them in England isn't like the Irish versions.

Schnitzel with a mushroom sauce sounds like frankbeswick food that's for sure. :) I would eat unbreaded if that's how it should be.

chefkeem on 07/28/2016

Hi Frank, I checked out their website. The schnitzel looks good, especially the Zwiebelschnitzel (onion). Let me know if you ever get a chance to try their food. Good luck!

frankbeswick on 07/28/2016

I have checked up and we have three places where German food is served, one is a bierkeller, where the emphasis is on beer, but there is at least one that sells a good range of German food: Hotspot Ess Paradies.

frankbeswick on 07/28/2016

Now you have given me an idea,Chef,because Manchester is a city which is chock full of good restaurants. There must be a German restaurant here somewhere, and if not there will be scope for an entrepreneur.

chefkeem on 07/27/2016

... and Cologne isn't all that far away from your home, Frank! I bet there're German restaurants in the UK as well.

frankbeswick on 07/27/2016

This article and discussion is interesting and eye opening, as it has made me realize that I have never sampled German food. That's a deficiency in my culinary experience that I will have to remedy.

chefkeem on 07/27/2016

Hi Ron, the way you write - makes my mouth water - I'm sure you've picked up a grandfatherly gene or two. And I totally agree that sauces should be made from scratch. No comparison to the packaged stuff. Happy cooking, my friend! :)

Ron Hlinka on 07/27/2016

BTW, I would never make a brown sauce from a package. To me that's blasphemy. Just need a little love and patience. There is always enough to make a roux. ...with just a little skill ;

Ron Hlinka on 07/27/2016

Chef Keem, I have a couple of more comments about Jaegerschnitzel. I have made it with veal, pork, chicken and turkey. All were lovely and delicious. I usually always add a dry white wine to my sauce but have used a red too. I like to experiment, Ha Ha! I have added or subtracted different ingredients as well to include of course lemon juice (if not using wine), lemon zest, minced onions, garlic, red/green/yellow peppers or a combination thereof, pimento, etc.. You get my drift. Be that as it may, Jaegerschnitzel can be made with almost anything as long as the flavors remain subtle with the exception of the champingons. It's really all about pounding the meat to the right thickness for it to be tender, the mushrooms of your choice except portabello (too earthy), and the sauce should be delicate enough that only subtle hints of flavor shine to tantalize your palate. I believe this meal should be paired with different types of a dry or semi white whine from the Ruhr Valley or a dry Reisling. Some Yugoslavian wines are good too. I also would like to say that a nice hand poured Pilsner bier would suffice although a lager might do as well. I also want to tell you that I am not a chef. I am a person that has always liked to enjoy the happy expressions on people's faces. Be it my family, friends or anyone else. Although I think I have inherited a trait from my grandfather (Died when I was 5) who was a chef at the Waldorf Astoria back in the early 60's or so.. Nochmals meine Freund Chef Keem

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