Veal milanese is prepared with veal chops with bones, gently pounded, then dipped into flour, eggs, and a mix of bread crumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano, before being deep-fried in a frying pan using clarified butter (the traditional way) or vegetable oil (the more contemporary and my choice).
The first written appearance of what is the current veal Milanese dates back to 1148. In an ancient parchment, describing the menu for a lunch in the Sant’Ambrogio Abbey, it is possible to read about lumbolos cum panicio, i.e. meat from the loins, covered with bread crumbs.
This parchment makes the cotoletta alla milanese older than another similar dish, the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel. The idea is similar, but the meat cut is different (loin for the milanese, leg for the schnitzel).
Before we start preparing an amazing cotoletta alla milanese, a note on how to properly serve it. The most traditional ways are:
- plain, with french fries as a side – this, btw, is maybe the most favorite dish of most Italian children! 🙂
- with a topping of cherry tomatoes and arugula.
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But now… time for your first milanese veal! If you will follow the instructions, you will see that you don’t need to go to Milan to have an authentic cotoletta alla milanese!
Cotoletta alla milanese (veal milanese)
- a meat pounder
- a chopping board
- three plates
- a pan
- 3 veal chops with bones in Italian: "nodini di vitello"
- q.s. water
- 50 gr all purpose flour
- 30 gr bread crumbs
- 30 gr grated Parmigiano Reggiano you can use Grana Padano
- 2 organic eggs
- q.s. clarified butter or vegetable oil to fry (original recipe requires clarified butter)
- q.s. cherry tomatoes optional, to garnish
- q.s. arugula optional, to garnish
- Prepare the ingredients at ambient temperature. One of the secrets of a real milanese veal is to dip the meat into two different "powders": first flour, second a mix 50-50 of bread crumbs and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- For each veal chop, you need to:1. (optional) remove the fat in excess (on the border), 2. make two small cuts on the side with no bone, so that the meat will not curl during the cooking and will create the "elephant ear"3. pound the meat to make it thinner and larger. This will be easier if you make it wet with some water (see video)
- If you want to garnish your cotoletta with arugula and cherry tomatoes, prepare a salad in advance. So it will have time to create a delicious juice, that you will pour on the cotoletta right after frying it.
- Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil (or clarified butter) into a pan, and turn the heat on. Now dip the meat into the flour. Do it carefully, every part needs to be covered with flour, thus the egg will better stick to it.
- Whisk the eggs, then carefully dip the meat into them. After the dip, drain it, or it will get messy once into the bread crumbs.
- Now dip it into a 50-50 mix of Parmigiano Reggiano and bread crumbs. Your veal chop is ready to be fried, so check for oil temperature (I use a drop of water, it the oil makes noise it's ready)…
- and drop the chop into the oil. Since you pounded the meat, it will take 2-2.5 minutes, each side.
- After the 4-5 minutes frying, remove the oil excess with some paper. Your authentic cotoletta alla milanese is ready! You can garnish it with some arugula and cherry tomatoes salas, or enjoy it with some french fries. Buon appetito 🙂
- the traditional “cotoletta alla milanese” is fried in clarified butter. For health reasons, I prefer to use vegetable oil. But of course, you can use it, following the same instructions!
- since it is a recipe from Lombardia, you can use Grana Padano instead of Parmigiano Reggiano (I will always use Parmigiano Reggiano, but I am partisan, lol)
- how to garnish the milanese: the two traditional ways are
- plain, with french fries as a side
- garnished on top with arugula and cherry tomatoes, and their juice. I personally love this one, but your children will likely prefer the first one 🙂
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