November 06, 2014

Züricher Geschnetzeltes (Zürich-style Meat Strips in Mushroom Cream Sauce)

Geschnetzeltes is a wonderfully complicated word to say, especially if you're trying to say it with a Swiss-German accent ("Züri-Gschnätzlets") for the first time. Essentially, it means thinly sliced meat, and would probably be classed as a "stir fry" cut in North America. Supermarkets carry them both seasoned (for Gyros or Kebab) or unseasoned. The unseasoned ones are likely destined to become Züricher (aka "Zürcher" or "Züri") Geschnetzeltes. But what you really need to know about this dish is that it's delicious, and pretty easy to make.

The most traditional Swiss version uses veal, but Germany seems to more often use pork, so that's what I'm making here. I've seen chicken and turkey versions, too, but in these parts, unless the meat is otherwise specified, there's a pretty good chance it'll be pork.

Züricher Geschnetzeltes are usually served with Rösti (in Switzerland) or Spätzle (Germany), but can also be served with potatoes, noodles, or rice. You can see from the photo that we went with Rötkohl as a vegetable side dish.

Züricher Geschnetzeltes

Serves 4
Total Prep & Cooking Time: 30 minutes

500 grams Geschnetzeltes (your choice of meat, thinly sliced)
1-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 small onion, finely chopped
200 grams fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tablespoon paprika (sweet)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup white wine (dry)
2/3 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
Kosher salt
Lemon Zest (fresh - about half a lemon's worth)
Parsley, freshly chopped for garnish (optional)

Toss the meat strips in the flour with a good pinch of salt, and shake off (discard) any excess flour. Finely dice or mince the onion. Slice the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Quickly sear the meat strips over high heat, stirring or turning as needed to brown both sides, but not cooking all the way through. Remove the meat to a plate.

Add the other tablespoon oil to the emptied skillet, and add the minced onion and the mushrooms. Fry until golden, and then add the paprika. Stir through, and then add the white wine and let it boil until almost dry. Pour in the cream. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce is creamy. Combine the cornstarch and cold water and stir until smooth. Add to the sauce and stir through until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Return the meat and its juices to the skillet and cook for two or three minutes until heated through and tender. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Grate fresh lemon zest over the pan, reserving a little to top each plated serving. Garnish with parsley if you wish.

Serve over rösti, spätzle, rice, boiled potatoes, or wide egg noodles.


Christie Dietz (Eating Wiesbaden) said...

This sounds pretty much like the one my husband makes, though I'm not sure he uses cornstarch and there's definitely no paprika involved! I absolutely love it (though it took me FOREVER to be able to say it without my husband laughing at me), it's always a proper treat to have him cook it for me :)

Dawna said...

The cornstarch is not traditional, but paprika (in a very small amount - we're not making paprikash!) appears in a lot of Swiss recipes. Modern Swiss recipes (using veal) often use veal kidneys, too!

It's definitely a dish that is highly customized by each cook.