This is a paid post sponsored by Ontario Apple Growers. All opinions are my own.
Growing up, pork chops with apple sauce were a household staple. I was a picky eater so I always had the apple sauce on the side, rather than as a condiment on the pork chop. I was one of those kids who needed each food item to be separate on the plate.
The pork chops we had usually had the bone in it still and were more than likely coated in Shake n’ Bake. My mom is a great cook but it was the 1980s and Shake n’ Bake was as popular as microwave popcorn. You likely wouldn’t have found a house in my neighbourhood without either of those in their cupboard. Oh Shake n’ Bake, you did serve us well back in the day…
My family hails from England and Ireland so I had never heard of schnitzel until I was much older. Well, except for that line in “My Favourite Things” on the Sound of Music, but I didn’t really know what that was when I first heard it. Now I live in Kitchener-Waterloo which has a strong German and Mennonite history so schnitzel is pretty common around here. You can get schnitzel on a bun at the chip wagon at the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market and schnitzel is on the menu of most of the Festhallen during the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest.
I don’t get out to Oktoberfest anymore because a rowdy night of drinking bad beer doesn’t appeal to me even though the Festhallen snacks were pretty good. I’d rather make this at home and have the kids to bed at a decent time so that I can finally have a couple hours to myself. Ok, I’ll be honest. I only went to Oktoberfest about three times before I had kids and the only thing I really liked was the schnitzel at the Concordia Club.
This recipe is my nod to the pork chops and apple sauce of my childhood but it is updated to blend in some of the culture of the part of Ontario I live in now.
Pork schnitzel is pretty readily available from the butcher counter in the grocery store here. I’ve only seen it pre-breaded there but that would make this a very quick weeknight dinner if you went with the pre-breaded route. I picked up the unbreaded pork schnitzel from my local butcher. He offers it both options but I love a good, thick, crunchy breading I prefer to go with it unbreaded and go the extra mile myself.
The apples I used for the savoury topping are Ambrosia apples. They are a sweet and crunchy apple that isn’t as tart as I usually choose. My favourite apple still is Cortland but I am branching out a little. Ambrosia apples are great for fresh eating so I knew that they would soften up quickly for this super quick recipe. They also took on the prettiest pink tinge which was a pleasant bonus. Just remember to look for the Foodland Ontario symbol on your apples to make sure they are Ontario Apples. If you can’t find Ambrosia apples for this recipe, just choose your favourite eating apple and it will turn out delicious.
I used Thornbury Craft cider in the recipe and it combined with the Dijon mustard to give it a lovely tartness that went really well with the simply seasoned pork schnitzel.
Now tell me, were pork chops with apple sauce a regular dinner at your house when you were growing up like it was for me?
Pork Schnitzel with Warm Savoury Apples
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion sliced
- 2 Ambrosia apples julienned
- 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup hard cider such as Thornbury or Strongbow
- 4 thin tenderized pork loins either by hand or purchased from a butcher pre-done
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Slice the onion into half moons and sautee them in a frying pan with the butter over a medium heat.
- While the onions sautee, cut up the apples into matchstick (julienne) sized pieces. When the onion has softened, add the apples and sautee them with a pinch of salt and pepper until they have also started to get soft.
- Add the tablespoon of Dijon mustard and hard cider. Stir and let the liquid cook down until it is almost all gone. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside until the schnitzel is ready.
- In a large, flat bowl or a pie plate, beat the two eggs. Put the flour in another flat bowl, and the dry breadcrumbs and salt and pepper in a third bowl. This is your set-up for breading the schnitzel.
- Dredge the unbreaded pork schnitzel (tenderized pork loin) in the flour first, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. When the pork is in the breadcrumbs, spoon the breadcrumbs over the top of the pork and really press the breadcrumbs in so that you get a nice thick coating. If there are wet eggy spots, cover those with more breadcrumbs and press them in so that the schnitzel is totally covered and has no soggy spots. Place breaded schnitzel on a clean plate and repeat with remaining three pork loins.
- In a cast iron pan or large, deep, heavy bottomed frying pan add enough vegetable or canola oil so that there is about a centimetre of oil in the pan. Heat the oil over a medium heat until it is quite hot but not smoking.
- Gently add the schnitzel into the oil, making sure to have the schnitzel drop into the pan away from your body so that you don't accidentally get splashed with oil.
- Fry on one side until it is a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn it over and cook the other side until it is golden brown as well. Take out the schnitzel and place it on a plate or cookie sheet lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat with the other three breaded schnitzel. If the oil volume drops down too low, then add a bit more oil and wait for it to heat up before continuing to fry the schnitzel.
- Serve with a generous heap of the warm savoury apples. If they have cooled while you were cooking the schnitzel, just heat them gently again in the pan.