Austrian Cooking
by Bernhard Baumgartner
by Bernhard Baumgartner
What is Austrian Cuisine

Why Austrians eat Knoedel so often

A Wiener Schnitzel is a Wiener Schnitzel

Schnitzel Varieties in Austrian Cooking

Potatoes - Austria's most consumed vegetable

Wiener Schnitzel

Veal Cutlet Breaded and Fried

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An Austrian dish containing the word Schnitzel is not necessarily a Wiener Schnitzel. Schnitzel actually just means that the dish contains meat that has been cut off a bigger piece and is cooked afterwards, unlike a roast, where the meat is cut into portions after cooking it, like a roast beef for example. You could translate Schnitzel into the English word cutlet.

For closer information on Wiener Schnitzel please read my article A Wiener Schnitzel is ...  or meet my Wiener Schnitzel recipe.

When an Austrian says Yum, we are having Schnitzel tonight, it means of course Wiener Schnitzel, breadcrumbed and deep fried escallops, usually cut from veal but also from pork. All other Schnitzels would get their proper prefix which indicates them as what they are.

For example:

Natur Schnitzel:

A Natur Schnitzel (naturally) is a cutlet that is cooked without being breadcrumbed. It is kept plain - natural - so we call it Natur Schnitzel. Cutlets are tenderized with a meat hammer, seasoned with salt and pepper and fried on both sides in little vegetable oil. When almost done the cutlets are being kept on a plate and covered to keep warm. Melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan where you fried the Schnitzels and stir in a tablespoon of flour. Two cups of stock and all is cooked and stirred Then the Schnitzel join in and all is boiled up again before being served with rice. A typical Austrian dish - Natur Schnitzel.

Jaeger Schnitzel:

A Jaeger is a hunter. Austrian hunters hunt in the woods and so a Jaeger Schnitzel is a Natur Schnitzel where the sauce is not kept so plain but enhanced with things from the woods like mushrooms and cranberries. The Jaeger Schnitzel is mostly from pork and is very often served with Spaetzle, but also with bread dumplings or rice. The sauce is darker, more brown and all should remind one of a game dish.

Champignon Schnitzel:

The ordinary champignon (button mushroom, also called the table mushroom, white mushroom, common mushroom, cultivated mushroom, and called champignon de Paris in France) you can buy in every supermarket here packed pound-wise. A champignon Schnitzel is a Natur Schnitzel just with the mushrooms as the sauce protagonist. For this saute the chopped mushrooms after frying the Natur Schnitzel, add little flour just as above and finish the sauce with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream per Schnitzel. Served with rice this is very common in Austrian homecooking - Champignon Schnitzel.

Pariser Schnitzel:

A Pariser Schnitzel - Schnitzel Parisienne is just a Wiener Schnitzel only it is not coated in breadcrumbs after lying in the eggs. The cutlet is being seasoned, then put into flour and then into beaten eggs and goes immediately into the frying oil. Pariser Schnitzel. Not so often at home, but very common in Austrian pubs (Gasthaus.)

Hack Schnitzel or Butter Schnitzel:

Butter Schnitzel also called Faschierte Laberl (--faschiert ground, --Laberl small loaf) are actually Hamburgers, but not eaten in a bun but mostly served with gravy and mashed potatoes. Ground meat, usually pork and beef mixed, is seasoned with salt, pepper, marjoram, mustard and little garlic. Mixed with whole eggs (3 eggs per 1 pound of meat), breadcrumbs and chopped parsley and formed into flat small loafs that get fried on both sides for a few minutes or grilled as you prefer. Like I said, in Austria mostly served with gravy and mashed potatoes - Butter Schnitzel.

Other Schnitzel varieties are Esterhazy Schnitzel (oh Lord Esterhazy), Rinds (beef) Schnitzel, Hühner (chicken) Schnitzel or Mailaender (Milan) Schnitzel.


Bernhard Baumgartner is an Austrian chef living and working in Vienna Austria. Visit his website for more about Austrian cooking and eating.

Schnitzel Varieties

in Austrian Cooking

by Bernhard Baumgartner