Milanesa Style Thin cut beef, translated in Cotoletta alla Milanese – also called “costoletta” or “fettina panata“- is an exquisite, ancient recipe, appearing in all famous Italian cuisine books and restaurant menus, but also traditionally used in families especially to make meat tasty for children (as meatballs and beef rolls), fried but not processed.
The Milanesa Style Thin Cut Beef, (Cotoletta) is – together with Milanese risotto, ossobuco and panettone – among the most typical dishes of Milanese cuisine. If you want to learn more about the history of Cotoletta alla Milanese, and the dispute with Austrian chefs to decide if Cotoletta was invented before the popular Wiener Schnitzel, just click here.
The dish is typically a thin cut (fettina) of milk-fed veal (according to the classic Milanese recipe), but lamb and pork are also common meat alternatives. The beef I use normally, is called “beef top round, extra thin cut for milanesa” which I easily find at local store.
Honestly, as all the other typical Italian recipes, every family has developed a slightly different way to prepare this dish. While one person may use only eggs yolk, another might fry in butter instead of oil. Others prefer to use just bread crumb for coating, and so on. So, the version I am sharing with you is the one my grandmother and my mom always cooked for us. The beef is quick and easy to cook, absolutely appealing to adults and kids, and not particularly unhealthy (aside from the fact that is fried food) 😉 if you pick a good quality oil for frying (my favorites are olive oil or peanut oil), you use your home-made breadcrumbs (suggested but not required) and a fresh cut of meat. Most of the time I prepare “cotoletta alla Milanese” when I have beef leftovers from beef and ham lava cheese rolls.
4 servings INGREDIENTS:
4 big slices beef top round, extra thin cut for milanesa, cut in two pieces
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup corn bread flour
1 beaten egg
Vegetable oil (to fry)
black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
Usually the “milanesa style thin cut” is sold in very big slices of meat. Before starting cooking, cut the slices in two, it will make dredging the meat in the egg and the frying part much easier and less messy. Beat the egg and add a pinch of black pepper.
Dredge the meat into the eggs beaten in a deep bowl. You can do this many hours in advance if you like, so the egg will get absorbed by the meat evenly and will keep the breading better.
Mix the bread crumbs with the corn meal, and coat evenly the beef slices on both sides. Again, if you need to get dinner ready quickly, once coated, the meat can stay (covered and well stored) in the fridge for about 24 hours (that means you can prepare the slices coated the night before cooking them).
Heat the oil in pan, and when it reaches the cooking point (try with a little piece of crumb or a wooden tool to check) start frying your beef slices. Pay close attention to the color of the crumbs, that should turn golden but not brown. If the oil is hot enough, it would take not more that few minutes per sides.
Drain the meat on a paper towel as you normally do with fried food, dust with sea salt, and serve still warm.
LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
TIPS: – Serve with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or vegetables, as preferred, but even French fries would be a delicious choice!
– Many people like to sprinkle few lemon drops on the meat before to eat it, but I don’t since the lemon make the breading become soft and no more crunchy.
– If you like to try the butter instead of the oil for frying, go ahead: the taste will be stronger, and you may like it even better…
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