I’m a big fan of seasonal cooking, perhaps even to a fault. Meaning that often if I’m craving something that is very out of season, I can’t bring myself to make it. Summer cooking can, therefore, be a bit tricky for me at times as it is my least favorite season when it comes to produce. I tend to lean more towards the hearty foods that spring and fall bring.
In the summer I prefer to eat food that I didn’t cook to be honest. Take-away pizza or sushi. Maybe pasta and a cold beverage in the shade of a parasol.
But there are some dishes that I enjoy cooking during the summer months, and that lend themselves better to my style of cooking, which is the heavy on the butter style in case you were wondering.
These pork butt schnitzels combine classic flavors of pork, apple, and fennel with honey, mustard, and capers. Which ends up making a dish that feels light but hearty at the same time.
You can use other cuts of pork if you want. Pork butt is a tougher meat, but I find that the texture is fantastic if you tenderize it a bit first. The meat is also perfectly marbled so that it carries flavor very well.
It’s also a cheap cut of meat, mostly used for pulled pork or slow-cooking. But as long as it is not tough it is great for frying as well. There’s a common misconception that all meat should be melt in your mouth tender for it to be good, but it’s fine for meat to be textured. It’s a big difference between tough and textured. Tough meat is meat that you chew and chew and can never process enough to swallow. Textured meat should still be easy to eat, and the texture should add something of interest to the dish. To avoid getting tough meat, buy high-quality meat from high-welfare farms. This is usually not a lot more expensive, as long as you use the cheaper cuts of meat, like pork butt.
- Two portion-sized pork butt slices
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Egg
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 2 Apples
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Capers
- Half a Lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400f / 200°
- Leave the pork butt in room temprature for about 15 minutes before having a whack at them with a meat tenderizer.
- Cut the apples into slices and trim off the fennel stalks and finely slice the fennel bulb. Save the green fennel fronds for garnish.
- Melt a slice of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the apple and fennel. Add the honey, Dijon mustard, some fresh thyme, salt & pepper and cook until the apples and fennel starts to soften, then transfer to the oven.
- Crack and whip the egg lightly with a fork in a bowl. Put flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and breadcrumbs in a seperate bowl, enough to cover the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn the pork in the flour, then the egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Melt butter over a medium / high heat in a frying pan and add the pork. Cook on each side for a few minutes, then turn down the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the pork from the pan and add another spoonful of butter to the pan over a low heat. Add the capers and squeeze the lemon over.
- Remove the apples when they have browned slightly at the edges. Place the pork over the apples and fennel and spoon over the capers and butter. Garnish with the fennel fronds.
We always recommend using high welfare pork, both in regards to the animals and with regards to the quality of the meat. It is better the cook with cheap cuts from a high welfare animal then using expensive cuts from factory farmed animals.