From the Food Bank to the Table: Culinary Creations (Recipe 2 - Jagerschnitzel)

Michele Orsinger

There’s nothing better on a Saturday evening than enjoying a hearty meal. Time to take those simple food bank items and create a masterpiece. Open up that freezer and grab out some pork chops. We’re going to dive into my German tradition here and make Jagerschnitzel… it’s really only a glorified way to fry a chop. Most of the ingredients we’re using today are from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank - a nonprofit that provides meal boxes for over 200,000 people a month. They do their part in an effort to provide a basic necessity that many can’t afford. If you or anyone you know is in need of food, please reach out. There are many churches and organizations that have assistance programs in place.

Back to recipe talk - you have a decision to make… can’t have just a pork chop. In normal German fashion, it’s served with mashed potatoes or stuffing. While I’m still making up my mind, go ahead and raid the pantry to see what you have on hand. The ingredients to make Jagerschnitzel are minimal. Since you’re already in the pantry looking for a side dish, grab out some bread crumbs and flour… it’ll save you time later. Are you ready to go yet… what side dish did you decide on? Let me know in the comments…

Alright, now for a real quick memo - you may be tempted to use more than one pork chop for each person… don’t. I know what you’re thinking - those boneless chops are so small. You’re about to have your mind blown after preparing these. Time for the fun to begin.

Gather all your ingredients, throw on your apron, and embrace your confidence…

  • Boneless pork chops
  • Flour
  • Bread crumbs
  • A few eggs
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mushrooms and gravy
  • Your side dish of choice
Time to make Jagerschnitzel...Michele Orsinger

This first step will ensure you get out any frustrations that are on your mind. Take a meat mallet (I’ve already used a hammer when I lost mine) and smash that baby down to oblivion. It’s easier to clean up if you put the pork chop in-between saran wrap first - a lesson I learned the hard way. You’re going to want to get it pretty thin… maybe a quarter inch thick. After you use all the muscle power in your soul to accomplish this - you’ll quickly see why one small pork chop for each person is enough. Sprinkle each side of the meat with some salt and pepper. Set them off to the side… time to get our coating set-up ready.
That's one big pork chop...Michele Orsinger

For this next step, you’ll need a plate with flour… a bowl with a few beaten eggs… and a plate with bread crumbs. It’s time to get our hands dirty - literally. With most meat prep, I wear gloves… I don’t recommend doing that with this one. The coatings get so thick and it just clumps and pulls those things right off your hand. Gloves are too expensive to keep changing them… seriously. Coat the pork chop in flour, dip in the egg mix, and cover in bread crumbs. Place them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. The flavor will be so much better if you let the pork chops sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

Use that hour of waiting to relax or scroll social media… maybe take a walk. Unless you’re making mashed potatoes - then, there’s no relaxing. There’s always controversy with how Jagerschnitzel should be fried. Some use oil and others use butter… I’m a butter lady… butter makes everything better. When I prepared this with oil, the flavor just didn’t POP for me. I’m not a fan of greasy - I want my taste buds to explode with happiness.

Time to get to frying. Grab the biggest skillet you have, throw an entire stick of butter in, and turn it to medium heat. Once the butter melts and starts a rolling boil, gently stick the pork chops in. You want to do it slowly just in case the butter still isn’t hot enough - you’ll know when you hear the sizzle. Let those monster sized chops simmer in there for about 5 minutes then check the bottom… once browned to your liking, flip them over and turn the heat down some.

When they’re finished, top with some mushroom gravy. Add your side dish to the plate and dive on in… just make sure you have a big enough plate. I can guarantee you won’t be getting up for seconds with this meal. Thanks to your local food bank, dinner went from free to fancy. Bon appetit…
Enough for two...Michele Orsinger
Normal size plate on top of a Jagerschnitzel plate...Michele Orsinger

To those readers who don’t eat pork products, this same recipe can be used with chicken or veal and it’s just as delicious!

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My mission is to provide the world with inspirational, educational, and real life stories. Almost everything created is done so in an editorial way. It's important to me that readers can find articles to read while feeling like they're part of the story.

Mechanicsburg, PA

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