Growing up in New York City, I was lucky to have close friends of many different heritages — Italian, Irish, Jewish, Jamaican, Polish, Ukrainian, Puerto Rican and more. As a kid, mooching a free meal when I could, I was exposed to some incredible foods from around the world, and all of these influences can be seen in my recipes still today.
One country’s food that I had, and still have a particular fondness for, also has great ties to hunting heritage, and this particular dish states it right in the name, Jägerschnitzel.
Jägerschnitzel translates directly into Hunter’s Schnitzel, which is a thinly pounded meat, breaded, fried crisp and topped with a rich gravy. Schnitzels are a fantastic and versatile food that can be prepared with damn near any meat you have on hand, both wild or domestic. This being a “Hunter’s Schnitzel,” I thought it only fitting to prepare it with venison. I used whitetail for this batch, but feel free to experiment and try it with whatever meat you prefer. If you want to stay true to the German roots of the dish, maybe use some fallow or roe deer that you happen to have on hand.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients for Schnitzel
- Oil for frying (I used avocado, but canola would work as well)
- 2 lbs boneless venison steaks
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- Salt & pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, garnish
Ingredients for Gravy
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups broth (I used venison broth I had on hand, but beef will also work)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (1/4 if using dry)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Instructions for Gravy
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until they begin to brown.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic, sautéing until they are golden brown and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the rest of the butter, melt and then slowly stir in the flour and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Pour in the broth, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Keep whisking until the gravy begins to thicken.
- Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add heavy cream, stirring to combine well.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions for Schnitzel
- Heat oil in a frying pan to approximately 330 degrees. The secret is to not allow the oil to get too hot, as the breading will overcook and blacken before the meat is cooked through.
- Pound the venison steaks until they are about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the flour mixture in a shallow bowl and add salt & pepper to taste. In a second bowl, add the egg, and place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
- Dredge the venison steaks in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, being sure to coat both sides well.
- . Gently shake excess crumbs from the meat and fry immediately.
- Fry Schnitzel for about 2 minutes per side, until a deep golden brown. Transfer cooked schnitzels to a wire rack placed over paper towels if possible, or directly on paper towels on a plate to allow excess oil to drip away.
- Serve immediately, top with creamy mushroom gravy and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
For more of Tony Caggiano’s wild game recipes visit wildgamebased.com