Eat like a German - German Recipe:
Jaegerschnitzel (East and West Variants)

Jaegerschnitzel (East and West Variants)
[ source: Schnitzel und Spätzle]

Serves: 4

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

"Jägerschnitzel" - "hunter's schnitzel (cutlet)" - has a name evocative of game and forests, but it's one of the most popular Schnitzel dishes in all of Germany, all-year and far from forests, too.

Jägerschnitzel is a constant source of misunderstanding between West and East Germany; a culinary specialty that has been interpreted very differently in the two halves of the country.

In West Germany, between Kiel and the Alps, it is a Schnitzel of veal or pork served with a sauce made of fresh mushrooms.

In East Germany, between Rügen and the Erzgebirge mountains, it is a fried slice of Jagdwurst sausage with noodles.

The difference came about because it was pretty easy to get veal or pork in West Germany, whereas the Eastern German Democratic Republic often encountered a dearth of fresh meat, which was predominantly exported to bring in hard currency.

No wonder that the GDR knew jokes like this one: Why must there always be at least one sausage in GDR butcher's shops? Because the people would otherwise line up to buy white tiles there…

Jagdwurst sausage, however, was available just about always, as were the other ingredients. And so, the East German Jägerschnitzel was one of the most popular dishes still bringing back good childhood memories to many an East German.


Recipe 1 (Jägerschnitzel - eastern variant)

  • Four slices of smoked Jagdwurst sausage, cut about half an inch thick (one can also use ham or bologna sausage.
  • 2 eggs - scrambled
  • breadcrumbs
  • flour
  • pepper, salt, grated nutmeg
  • sunflower oil

First, remove the sausage casing.

Then, bread the slices of sausage by first putting them into flour (for a thin layer), then coating them with the egg, and then with breadcrumbs.

Put the sausage into hot oil immediately and fry them on both sides until the crust is nicely browned.

Usually, they were served with noodles and a plain tomato sauce. Today, if you need to be quick, you can also use fresh noodles from the convenience food aisle and canned tomato sauce.

Et voilá, "Ostalgia"...


Recipe 2 (Jägerschnitzel / Hunter's Schnitzel - West Germany)

  • 4 veal or pork cutlets/escalope
  • 1 egg
  • some flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • clarified butter
  • 500 g fresh button mushrooms or chanterelles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small onions
  • 50 g bacon
  • 125 ml vegetable stock
  • 125 ml sweet cream
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • parsley

Clean the mushrooms and cut them in half. Put the butter in a pan and liquify it, then fry the mushrooms. Stir and take care to let them lose their liquid first. Then, add vegetable broth.

In another pan, roast the finely chopped onions and the bacon, cut into small cubes. When both are crispy, add them to the mushrooms.

Flavor with pepper, a pinch of salt and nutmeg and add the cream. Keep warm.

In yet another pan, heat the clarified butter.

Now for the real question - breaded or unbreaded?

Tastes diverge again. Some insist on having a breaded schnitzel, others would never make anything but a veal escalope that has not been breaded.

A decent compromise is the use of nothing but flour: lightly coating the meat in it, then putting it into the hot fat. (Otherwise, as with all breaded schnitzels, continue coating the meat in scrambled egg and then with breadcrumbs.)

Fry the schnitzels nicely golden-brown on both sides, let excess fat drip off on kitchen paper, then put them on warmed plates.

Pour some mushroom sauce on the side, not over the schnitzel, strew fresh parsley over the dish and serve.

As side dish, french fries fit well. In Northern Germany, people prefer potatoes, in the South, Jägerschnitzel is preferably eaten with spätzle or noodles. Anyways, the side dish should be good for taking up the mushroom sauce.

Gaby Leeser
Gaby Leeser

This german recipe has been written and shared by Gaby Leeser. If you would also like to share a tasty german recipe, simply send us an email or post it on Facebook. We will review it and if accepted publish your here here in this Eat like a German recipe collection.

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