This is another classic dish that seems to be rooted in our history and geographical position in Central Europe. Having been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918 and sharing the southern border with Austria since then, we have borrowed a few cooking techniques and ideas from the Austrians as well. Our breaded pork steak closely resembles the Viennese style schnitzel and is often served with a potato salad, especially on festive occasions like Christmas, Easter, or at our wedding parties.
The potato salad, which is normally made with mayonnaise, is quite heavy on stomach, so I have decided to omit the mayo this time to give it a healthier twist:
Breaded Pork Steaks with Potato Salad
For the steaks:
- 10 pork loin steaks
- 8 tablespoons fine four
- 2 – 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 10 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- salt and black pepper to taste
- oil for frying
For the salad:
- 1½ kg medium size potatoes
- 2 – 4 hardboiled eggs
- 400 g carrot & pea mixture (frozen or canned)
- 1 cucumber
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 2 teaspoons basil
- salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse the potatoes with their skins on and let dry off. Cook them in a steamer until tender (check by poking a potato with a fork or a skewer). Put aside and let cool down.
Meanwhile, wash the steaks and pat them dry. Place on a wooden board and make a few short cuts at the edge of each steak to break the tissue. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and tenderize on both sides.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork until whites and yolks combine. Spoon in the milk and beat again to make a thin mixture.
Put the flour and breadcrumbs in two other bowls. Dust each steak in the flour first, then dip it in the egg mixture, and roll in the breadcrumbs to finish the coating.
Put the coated steaks aside on a clean tray and leave to rest.
Now let’s prepare the potato salad. Peel the cooked potatoes and dice or cut them into shapes of your choice. We in Slovakia use a nifty little gadget for this purpose that can be bought in all kitchenware shops around the country. We pass the soft potatoes through it straight into the salad bowl:
Add the carrot & pea mixture to the potatoes. If you’re using frozen carrots & peas, cook them in water for about 5 minutes before adding to the potatoes. In case of canned vegetables, it is good to strain them on a sieve beforehand.
Dice or chop the boiled eggs and add them to the potatoes. Do the same with the cucumber, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the basil and mustard, spoon in the oil and the white vinegar. Combine all the ingredients well with a wooden spoon. Leave to stand in a cool place.
Back to the steaks now to fry them. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and place the steaks in it. Cook them in batches over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes on each side. When they are cooked through and crispy brown on the surface, take the steaks out and put on a kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
Serve hot with a generous helping of the potato salad on the side.
When paired with a mayonnaise potato salad, fried breaded pork steak is a devilish combination, which health experts and nutritionists would certainly frown upon. But that’s exactly why we only serve it on festive occasions like Christmas or Easter. And even then we’ll make more balanced choices and replace the steak with fried fish. Yes, modern Slovak cuisine is becoming much more health-oriented now that recipes and new ideas ‘travel’ happily around the internet and across the borders.