Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Vienna Steak

As a youth I was told that Vienna Steak on a restaurant menu was horse meat.
I have looked all over the web and found nothing to corroborate this belief so what went wrong?
Was I misled?
Did I misunderstand?
The disappearance of this dish from menus around 1960 tends me to believe that for a period after WWII Vienna Steak may well have been made from horse meat.

Indeed this restaurant in Vienna is advertising a sausage made from horse meat.  Is that where the idea originated?

Why do we consider it inappropriate to eat horses just as we eat cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, chickens, guinea pigs and Welsh Rarebits?

For those of a culinary, but PC, bent, here is a recipe I have found which does not use horse. 
Vienna Steaks Recipe
Serves 4 - 8
700 g raw rump steak or any lean stewing steak, minced
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp dried mixed herb
a little grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 tbsp plain flour (All purpose) for dredging
1/3 cup (75 g) or dripping (fat from roasted meat) or 75 ml oil
250-350 ml Espagnole sauce

for the garnish
2 medium sized onions
1 3/4 cup (200 g) flour for coating

1. Put the meat into a bowl. Add the herbs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
2. Separate one of the eggs, reserve the white, and add the yolk to the other egg.
3. Beat the whole egg and yolk until liquid, add to the meat and mix well to bind the mixture.
4. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape into round cakes 7cm in diameter. Dredge lightly with flour.
5. Heat 25 g of the fat or 25 ml oil in a frying pan and fry the 'steaks' for about 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through; then drain.
6. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep hot.
7. Skin the onions for the garnish, and slice them thinly.
8. Separate the onion rings and coat them with flour.
9. Whisk the remaining egg white until stiff.
10. Dip the onion rings into the egg white and then again into the flour.
11. Heat the remaining fat in the frying pan and fry the onion rings until golden-brown and crisp.
12. Remove with a perforated spoon and drain on soft kitchen paper.
13. Serve the Vienna Steaks garnished with the onion rings.
14. Serve the Espagnole Sauce separately. 

We are moored this evening by Stewponey lock.

Is this something I should investigate?


  1. From Graham Greene - The End of the Affair" - "I remember Henry chose a Vienna steak - it was a mark of his innocence. I really believe he had no idea what he was ordering and expected something like a Wiener Schnitzel. ... he was too I'll at ease to comment on the dish and managed to to ram the pink soggy mixture down."

  2. I found The End of the Affair so moving that when I later bought the soundtrack to the film (which I have not seen) I could not listen to it without getting upset.
    If you have not heard the music I suggest you borrow it from the library in case you, too, find it too emotive.


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