Monday, December 7, 2009

Zigeuner Schnitzel

One memory of living in Germany was the many ways schnitzel could be prepared. Tonight, we had Zigeuner Schnitzel or Gypsy Schnitzel. It gets its name from the addition of peppers and Hungarian paprika to the sauce. Gypsies were known to come from Hungary. Growing up in a small village in Iowa, every spring we were greeted by "gypsies" coming into town to buy food and wares. They camped in a wooded area near our town and our parents, of course, (this was the late 40's, early 50's) put fear in our hearts and thoughts by telling us the gypsies would take us away if we did not behave. Kind of a crude and rude way to talk to children, but it worked and did not harm me in any way. Possibly, it even taught me more respect for those that were different than me.

I remember being amazed at the women coming to town with long, black, curly hair, layers of clothing, and pulling money out of the front of their blouses to pay for things. Believe me, this was better than reading any novel available at the time. I wish I could see myself now, looking at these guests of our community. I must have been very wide-eyed. I must add, I am not aware that they caused any trouble, or ever stole any children.

Paprika jar brought back from Hungary

Gypsy Schnitzel
Zigeuner Schnitzel

4-6 thin, boneless veal or pork slices (used flattened pork tenderloin)
flour for dredging the meat
olive oil for frying

The Peppers and Sauce

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
1 medium sized onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Hungarian Paprika (mild or hot)
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef or chicken stock
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons capers
salt and pepper
I added a roux of 1 Tablespoon butter mixed with 1 Tablespoon flour to thicken

Cut peppers into thin strips.

Lightly flour the veal or pork cutlets. Brown in 2 Tablespoons olive oil and then reserve to a plate.

Add minced garlic and sweat and then add the peppers and mushrooms. Just cook until tender.

Add the wine and stock, tomato paste and capers. Bring to a simmer. At this time I added the butter and flour roux to help thicken the sauce. Then add the meat cutlets back into the sauce and gently simmer.

Serve by placing schnitzel on plates with the pepper/mushroom sauce and serve with noodles, potatoes or spaetzle.

I will need to make more schnitzel in the months to come. There are several variations. After all, that is where I got my name for my blog!!


  1. Susan, you are something else. I love your stories that fit into the recipe you are giving us. And this is another incredible one to try.

    I hope the neighbors are listening, because now I am singing ~ gypsies tramps and thieves.....

    Many thanks (with a grin)

  2. Hi Susan - I've never had schnitzel prepared this way. It sounds wonderful and I'm absolutely going to try it. Guess I'm in a schnitzel rut. It's time to get out of it.

  3. I love that you used flattened pork tenderloin . . . so tender. This is a great recipe and great story.

  4. I can't tell you how wonderful this sounds to me and my jaded taste buds. What a terrific recipe.

  5. Great story! What time is dinner served?? Be right there! Looks so delicious!

  6. What a delicious & unusual schnitzel recipe ! We don't get gypsies here in Africa .... but they sound very exotic & exciting indeed !

  7. Yummm! That sounds so good. I really am hungry now.

  8. Anonymous10:11 AM

    well now you're just bringing back childhood memories here !!:)


  9. This is a very cool story. I didn't know we had gypsies in the U.S. I've seen them in Europe, but not here.

  10. Oh good, they didn't get you! Glad you're still here to tell the story.
    And share the schnitzel recipe!

  11. I love to find recipes of German origin. I will make a point of trying this one. Thanks for sharing!! Great story, the Bible says fear is the beginning of wisdom;) and a bit of well placed fear goes along ways!

  12. Anonymous7:15 AM

    Anyone remember the German song:
    Lustig ist der Ziegeuner Leben ......Faria, far-ee-ahh!!

  13. Anonymous9:55 AM

    From CDZ
    Germans induced fear with the children's book Schruvelpeter. Do you remember Hans Gook in die Luft---he drowned because he didn't look where he was walking. I remember the cover of the book with Schtruvelpeter and all 10 fingers dripping blood. I think he put them where they didn't belong. So wass!!!

  14. Yes, Connie, I remember it well. I have that book. It was given to me by our friend in Germany when she found out I was pregnant for the first time. I doubt that my girls have even looked at the horrible pictures more than once.