Snowy weekends are all about cooking comfort food, in my case, this usually means recreating a Polish dish from my childhood kitchen. Whilst on a recent visit home, I borrowed an old 1970’s Polish cookbook, called Kuchnia Polska, to serve both as a reference point and as a reminder of home. For a quick alternative to a Sunday roast, we had Kotlety Schabowe today, which are Breaded Pork Steaks or Chops. We used to have these all the time at home, usually served with mashed potato, or new potatoes with butter and dill and my favourite, mashed beetroot!
An unexpected surprise when looking through old books at my mama’s house is that you often find leaflets tucked inside, in this case, I found an old baking leaflet, with recipes for ‘coconut pyramids’ and ‘melting moments’ – who remembers those? I love the fact that, in the days before the internet and blogging, you were invited to write to ‘The Home Economist’ for your free recipe leaflet. I also came across a very handy Herb & Spice Chart, which is probably around twenty years old.
I opened Kuchnia Polska at Kotlety Schabowe, or breaded pork chops. I had pork tenderloin steaks in the fridge, and since they are smaller than pork chops, I managed to make eight breaded cutlets.
I set up my flour, egg and breadcrumb production line. For my own (Whole 30/wheat-free) portion, I used just the eggs and almond flour, they were tasty, too. We also had baby potatoes with dill and a cucumber salad on the side.
There weren’t many colour photos in my book, just one or two, but every now and again there are lovely illustrations of the cooking process. Here’s our 1970’s housewife dipping her pork chops in flour!
And here’s my crispy, tasty, full-colour version!
You can use exactly the same method for chicken breast pieces, flattened out, and homemade fishfingers, too. These breaded pork chops are similar to Austrian Pork Schnitzel. I get my breadcrumbs from my local Italian deli.
Breaded Pork Steaks (Polish Style)
A traditional method of making Kotlety Schabowe, or Pork Schniztels. You can also use flattened chicken breasts. Adapted from Kuchnia Polska.
4 organic pork steaks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 heaped tablespoons plain / all-purpose flour
1 free range egg
3 heaped tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
Oil for frying, a light vegetable oil is best
- Take a clean chopping board and lay your pork steaks or chops on the board. Cover with clingfilm and with a rolling pin, bash the steaks until then are quite thin.
- Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the top, flip them over and season the other side.
- Take three small plates. Put the flour on one, the egg on the second (beat lightly with a fork) and the breadcrumbs on the third plate.
- Dip each pork steak firstly into the flour, making sure it is evenly coated all over, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs.
- Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a frying pan and place the pork chops into the pan. You might need to do this in two batches – don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Cook each pork steak for 5-6 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Since the pork steaks should be quite thin, they shouldn’t take long to cook. Make sure they are cooked through before serving.
- Be careful not to over crowd the pan, you may want to cook two steaks at a time, adding extra oil for the next two. You can keep them warm in a low oven, too.
- Serve with boiled new potatoes with butter and dill and a side salad, or with mashed carrots or butternut squash.
I’m linking this post up with Dom’s Random Recipes, this month the challenge is ‘Another Country, Another Kitchen’ - since my Kuchnia Polska book came from my mama’s kitchen, I am on brief!
Also, I’ve just launched a late January round of Simple and in Season. I served my breaded pork steaks with a very simple butternut squash mash, cooked in a little stock and lightly mashed with a bit of butter.