Sunday, February 15, 2015

Schnitzel Style Minute Steak

The least expensive cut of steak at most grocery stores is the lowly "minute" or "fast fry" steak.This is usually thinly cut round or hip steak, though sometimes it is very lean sirloin, whose appeal lies in its quick cooking time (hence the name) and affordability. 

Minute steak is, to be honest, generally not terribly good. Even cooked for less than a minute (to make it medium rare) and nicely seasoned it will usually come out tough and chewy. But, like flank steak, there are a number of ways to make it a lot more interesting, either by marinating it, or, as we are looking at in this blog, breading it.

Here we are going to do a simple breaded or Schnitzel Minute Steak served with lemon.

For this you will need minute steak, vegetable or canola oil, salt and pepper, flour, very fine bread crumbs and a couple of eggs.

First you put the flour, two eggs and bread crumbs in separate mixing bowls. The amount you will need depends on how many steaks you are making, but suffice it to say you will require enough of each to coat the steaks.

First coat with flour
You want to add salt and pepper (to taste) to the flour and mix it. You can also add other seasoning, like Italian seasoning, dry mustard or curry powder if you wish. 

You need to beat the eggs gently with a fork (or whisk) until well blended. 

After dipping in the egg wash, coat with bread crumbs

You then take each steak, dip it into the flour until lightly coated on both sides, then dip it into the egg wash and finally into the bread crumbs. The egg wash will allow for the bread crumbs to adhere and you want a good coating all around.

Meanwhile, add enough oil to a frying pan so that it will be at a level about slightly more than half way up the coated steaks, but not so that they will be submerged. Heat the oil at medium-high heat until it is quite hot but not too hot. If it is not hot enough the coating will come off. If too hot it will burn. There are all sorts of methods that people have to tell them when it is just right, but, as I have often said on this blog, to me the only surefire one is practice. It varies greatly according to the size of the pan, the type of element and so forth.

Add the steaks and deep fry for about, not surprisingly, a minute a side. Again, there is no steadfast amount of time, other than it does not take very long. You want the breading to be a golden brown. The picture shows it basically exactly when you want to take it out. If that is after 30 seconds or if it is after a minute and a half, then that is when it is ready. One thing is that if you are doing more than one "wave" of steaks the first wave will take more time and the subsequent ones less. I strongly suggest doing no more than 3 waves. If you have to do more than that you need to replace the oil.

Let sit for a minute or two before serving. 

Serve with lemon wedges. The breaded steak tastes delicious with lemon. Alternately the steak can be put on a bun and covered with tomato sauce to make an excellent steak sandwich. Fix it up with cheese and sauteed onions or mushrooms.

This exact cooking method can also be used to Schnitzel other thin cut meats, like veal or pork. The key is that the meat is very thin. We have chosen minute steak, as this is easy to find, and very cheap as a general rule. 

On a related note watch for coming blogs about Eggplant Parmigiana and the southern classic Chicken Fried Steak with Red Eye Gravy.

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