By Tim Rodgers
Oktoberfest, it’s that time of year again. If the Germans know anything about beer, than they sure know something about meats. For those of you that live in the Philadelphia area or even New york/New Jersey for that matter I encourage you to visit Illg’s Meats in Bucks County Pennsylvania. You can even pick up some of Illg’s delicasies at the Apple Valley Farm stand in the Reading Terminal in Center City Philadelphia.
According to the Illg family, “Ernst came to America in 1952 and settled in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia, at 29th and Master Streets; a good neighborhood for lunch meats and sausage. German, Irish, Polish and Jewish people. They liked our meats. So business exploded. And all we had was a little rowhouse-in front, the store; in the middle, the icebox; in back, the sausage kitchen; upstairs, the family. So we moved to Chalfont. We took over a store from a butcher who was American but with German parents, so he had a few German items. We just put our items out, and all of a sudden we didn’t know where all these people were coming from. It’s not just people from Germany like these meats, you know. It’s people from Poland, from Russia, from all over Europe. We even make Hungarian sausage. We’re Germans, but we make it. And we make it good.”
I grew up eating the lunch meat, brats, sauerkraut, and butcher cuts from the Chalfont store. But comfort food has kind of been my go-to cuisine and nothing takes me back to my childhood better than some basic ole’ fashioned Wiener Schnitzel.
Basically, its merely a fried breaded veal cutlet served with a lemon wedge.
The Winer Schnitzel Recipe:
1 lb of fresh veal cutlets from Illg’s Meats tenderized and pounded flat
1 cup of UNSEASONED bread crumbs
1 cup of flour
Splash of milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of butter
First pound out your veal cutlets. Next, mix some fresh ground pepper into your flour and set aside.
Beat your eggs with the milk and set aside. Mix your parsley with the bread crumbs. Next you will be breading your cutlets by dipping each cutlet into your flour mixture assuring that the entire piece is coated and shake off any excess flour. Next dip it into the beaten eggs, and finally dip the cutlet into the bread crumb mixture. Repeat this process for each piece. Heat your cooking oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the butter until that melts and begin frying your breaded cutlets until golden brown on each side.
Once each side is fried set aside on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Squeeze a lemon wedge on your Schnitzel and serve with a lemon wedge and parsley garnish.
Really, Wiener Schnitzel is an Austrian dish, but culturally, its close enough. It is also tradition to serve your Wiener Schnitzel with parsley herb potato wedges and a parsley garnish. I would pair this bad boy with this years Whiskey Goldmine Oktoberfest Champion Spaten Oktoberfest!
The Illgs Store by the way, is at 365 Folly Road, Chalfont, PA is open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Friday and from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday. “Tell people to call (215-343-0670) before they come, and I will give them directions,” says Ernst Illg.
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