Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pork Cutlets - Classic Polish Style


In these crazy times, we're all spending more time in the kitchen and often crave basic comfort food, especially now that it's colder  (unless you live "down under").   But we've been spending soo much time in the kitchen that lately we're on the hunt for meals that are easier to prepare without sacrificing great and classic flavors. Pork is one way to go that has worked for us - especially pork cutlets. 
 Have you noticed how store-bought pork has changed over the last few years?  Center-cut boneless pork chops are lean and devoid of flavor compared to what we used to enjoy. 

That’s why the safe cooking temp was lowered by the USDA to 145 °F - a full 15 degrees less than before.  And now the USDA says it’s OK to eat your pork slightly pink.  So we no longer buy boneless chops, opting for bone-in, with a nice layer of fat around the edges (great for cooking - it gets cut off before eating).  

Pork has always been an important part of the Polish diet.  This classic cutlet is a tasty choice anytime and anywhere in Poland.  Quite similar to Viennese Schnitzel, the Polish version is often served with boiled cabbage, dill pickles or Brussel sprouts & carrots.  In fact we just made this dish a couple of days ago.

Heffron Farms
Serves 4
4 thin center cut pork chops
3 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
½  cup bread crumbs  
1 teaspoon marjoram finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil 

Use bone-in or boneless chops, either will work.  Trim most of the excess fat from the chops.  Pound the meat to tenderize until about 1/4 inch thick.  (Hint:  pound the chops under a plastic freezer bag to make the process easier and cleaner).  Cutlets may be cut into smaller pieces to better fit your skillet.  
Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Mix bread crumbs and marjoram. 
Dredge the cutlets in flour.  Dip in the beaten egg.  Roll in bread crumb mixture and press in to make bread crumbs stick to the cutlets. 

Preheat the oil in a large skillet and saute the cutlets under medium heat until golden on both sides and until the pork is just barely pink in the middle. If your cutlets are about a quarter inch thick, as we like them, they'll probably be done in about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Watch them carefully while in the pan so the crumb topping doesn't burn.  

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or dill.  Serve with your favorite vegetables, boiled baby potatoes with butter and dill; on top, and slices of dill pickle.  Yum!