If there’s one thing that UPG knows how to do, it’s schnitzel. With a portfolio of ten Bavarian Bier Cafés, two Munich Brauhaus bier halls and a new fast casual spin-off, the Bavarian, they get a lot of practice at flattening and crumbing cutlets before frying them to a golden crisp. According to Martin Heierling, culinary director, Urban Purveyor Group, they cook an impressive 5,300 schnitzel per week, plus 60-odd 500g Duke schnitzels and 67 monster one-kilo Schnitzelmeisters.
They make them the old fashioned way at the Bavarian Bier Café and Munich Brauhaus. “We pound the meat thin, flour them in a seasoned flour mix, drench them in an egg wash and crumb them with house made bread crumbs,” says Heierling. “You want unseasoned bread crumbs that aren’t too coarse and it is important to sift the crumbs and remove any clotted pieces so the meat gets an even coating. Then we cook them in special shallow fry pans at 170 degrees.”
According to Heierling, the classic pitfalls for a schnitzel chef are cooking temperature and meat thickness. “You need to use a shallow fry pan and get the heat right prior to cooking. Having the meat too thick will overcook the crust, and too thin makes the meat dry,” he says.
The quality of the meat is also an essential component of the perfect schnitzel. “I look for meat with no fat or sinew throughout as this will not make for a nice experience. Striploin is a great cut for the pork and veal schnitzels, topside too,” says Heierling. “Schnitzel should have a golden crisp coating that bubbles up lightly when cooked correctly. The crumb crust should be thin – just coating the meat.”