The Dish: Jager Schnitzel by Old Stein Inn
Feb 28, 2011 08:16PM
● By Ashley West
A local gem, tucked down Central Avenue in Edgewater, Old Stein Inn has been in business since 1983 when Karl and Ursula Selinger arrived to the area from Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in the Rhineland Pfalz region of Germany. Today, their son Michael and his wife Beth operate the bierstube and restaurant along with Chef Dirk (of Koln, Germany), continuing the Old World tradition of serving fine food and great drink with gracious hospitality and camaraderie. Chef Dirk, as he is famously known, offers his renowned Jager Schnitzel recipe and provides insight to his background and what makes this dish special to him. Prost!
What’s Up?: How did your culinary career begin?
Chef Dirk: At the knee of my Oma, “grandmother.” Additionally a three year apprenticeship learning my skills from some of the best available chefs in Germany.
WU: Describe the culinary influence present in your dishes/on your restaurant’s menu.
CD: Traditional German cuisine with a mix of Modern German cuisine.
WU: How did you come to work at the Old Stein Inn?
CD: I was working in the southern area of the United States and owner Michael Selinger contacted me via the internet, calling me back to my roots in German cuisine.
CD: I like to introduce traditional German cuisine to the Annapolis/Washington area and get to use my creativity using local ingredients with a modern German influence.
WU: What are some trends you are seeing in the food industry on the local level?
CD: Honestly I have seen trends come and go, but know that traditional comfort food will never go out of style.
WU: What flavor notes are most appealing about this dish?
CD: Hints of bacon.
WU: Are there any special cooking techniques/ ingredients/utensils/cookware used for this dish?
CD: We serve the dish in the restaurant with spatzle, our Inn-made German egg noodle, using an imported spatzle press. The home cook can use a cutting board slivering off strands of dough with a sharp knife into the boiling water.
WU: What’s the key to preparing this dish?
CD: Using premium bacon and fresh mushrooms. It is suggested to have a malty German Lager handy for the home cook to enjoy when preparing this meal!
WU: Do you consider it easy or hard for the casual cook at home to prepare?
CD: A moderate level of cooking skill should suffice. As delicious as this meal may be at home, our outdoor biergarten is an ideal setting for folks to gather with family and friends. Please check our music schedule for maximum effect.
WU: Is this recipe a traditional recipe, or have you modified it?
CD: Prove and tested by Oma. This dish was taught to me by my Oma that my family and now patrons of the Old Stein can enjoy.
WU: What side dishes (if any) would you recommend pairing with this recipe?
CD: Of course our Inn-made spatzle and red cabbage would be suggested but fresh easonal vegetables or potato dish would be a good substitution.
WU: Is there a particular drink that pairs well to this dish?
CD: Start at the top of our beer list (40 different types) and work your way down (over many visits) and I am sure you will find something to your liking.
Preparation and cook time in two steps; about 20–25 minutes each
Ingredients for the Schnitzel (meat)
4 veal cutlets (about 7 oz each)
pounded to 1/4 inch thickness (you
may use chicken or pork as well)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs (Panko)
Salt and pepper
Oil or lard for frying (about 2 cups)
To pound the meat, you may want to place the cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap for easier washing up. 1 & 2) Set up three shallow dishes. Place flour, salt, and pepper in one dish. Beat eggs well and place in the second dish. Place breadcrumbs in third dish. Heat oil (at least a 1/4 inch deep) in a pan to 350° F. Take each cutlet and dredge in the flour until surface is completely covered and dry. Next, dip the cutlets into the eggs to coat and allow the excess to drip off. Then roll each cutlet in the breadcrumbs until well coated. 3) Place each Schnitzel in the pan with oil and fry for 3–4 minutes on one side. You may swish them a little with a fork to make sure they are not sticking. Turn them over once and fry until both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan and allow the oil to drain off.
Ingredients for the Jager sauce
Salt and pepper
2 oz butter
2 cups sherry
2 cups heavy cream
1 oz beef bouillon (condensed stock)
4 oz diced bacon
6 oz diced onion
2 cups wild mushrooms
3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley and oregano
Cornstarch slurpy (1 heaping tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup water)
Put butter in a sauté pan, add bacon, and sauté until crisp. 4) Add onions and mushrooms and stir until golden brown. Add beef stock, sherry, and cream. 5) Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully add cornstarch slurpy, one tablespoon at a time, to reach a desired thickness. Continue to stir for another 3–5 minutes. Turn off heat. 6) To serve, divide Schnitzel into four portions on center of heated plates. Pour the Jager sauce on top and sprinkle with parsley and oregano.
• Make sure the breaded meat “swims” in the oil. Contrary to instinct, the breading will take on less oil than if it is sticking to the pan. Also, the bread crumbs have a chance to puff a little, and your clean-up is easier.
• Watch your Schnitzel carefully to avoid burning.
• Eating it fresh is also important. This is not a dinner that gets better the next day.