Veal Milanese (Cotoletta alla Milanese) is one of the most famous dishes of traditional Italian cuisine. It’s a tasty veal recipe born in Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy, home to other famous recipes such as saffron Milanese risotto, fried meatballs and Ossobuco Milanese recipe.
Veal Milanese recipe has ancient origins: it appeared for the first time in Milan in September 1134, in a menu made for the monks of Sant’Ambrogio. His name was “lompolos cum panito”: loin with bread.
Austrians claim the authorship of this dish, with their Wiener Schnitzel but Veal Milanese cutlet is obtained from the loin, and not from the thigh, like the one made in Austria.
Veal Milanese: Tips for the Perfect Italian Recipe
Veal Milanese is a fast and easy-to-make recipe. But for the authentic Italian Veal Milanese, you have to follow a few simple steps.
- First of all, THE MEAT: must be the veal loin with the bone 2/3 cm high (about 1 inch), pink and tender.
- Second, NO FLOUR: for a perfect and crunchy breading, you have to dip the meat in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. DO NOT USE FLOUR, otherwise the breading will come off the meat once cooked.
- The third key feature is BREADCRUMBS: homemade breadcrumbs are essential for perfect breading. So, if you can, do it yourself at home, with stale bread,breadsticks, flatbreads, crackers or taralli. In short, what you have in your pantry.
- Last but not least, THE BUTTER: fry in butter and not in oil. The butter is an ingredient that is traditionally widely used in the regions of northern Italy. Frying in butter gives the veal Milanese an unmistakable flavor.
Veal Milanese Variants
The traditional recipe calls for a thick bone in veal Milanese, but the modern variations tend to be made with a thin, boneless veal cutlet.
Very popular today is the famous “orecchio d’elefante” cutlet (trad: elephant ear), so called because it is a very thin and large breaded cutlet. This cutlet is often made with pork or turkey and fried in oil. It’s really tasty and cruncy but very different from veal Milanese recipe. Another recipe for another time.
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Veal Milanese Authentic Italian Recipe
- 4 veal chops bone-in with loin attached, washed, dried, and sliced the thickness of the bone.
- 2 medium eggs
- 200 gr (7 Oz) of breadcrumbs made with stale bread, breadsticks, loaf bread, taralli
- 120 gr (4,3 Oz) of butter for frying
- fine salt
How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs
How to Bread Veal Milanese
How to Fry Veal Milanese
How to make homemade clarified butter
The clarified butter is obtained by extracting water and proteins from the butter to leave only the fat part. You can make homemade clarified butter or buy it in the best shops of Italian products. Veal Milanese is fried in clarified butter as it has a very high smoke point and therefore does not burn the meat, but makes it tastier and crispier.
The process of clarifying butter is very important for heat resistance. In fact, traditional butter does not last long in cooking, as when it comes to 130°C (266 F) it burns. Instead the clarified butter has a much higher smoke point, up to 170°C (338 F), allowing a much safer frying.
So melt the butter in a bain-marie. After a few minutes you will notice the formation of a surface foam. Take it off with a slotted spoon. After about 20 minutes, the milk proteins will be deposited on the bottom of the pot containing the melted butter and will form a white layer. At this point, pour the melted butter into a container by filtering it with a colander and be careful not to move the bottom that will be removed. Here you have obtained the clarified butter, ready to fry your Cotoletta alla Milanese!
It’s better to bread the veal at the moment. If you prefer to make the cutlets a few hours ahead you will have to keep them in the refrigerator and dip them again in the breadcrumbs before frying.
It’s possible to keep leftovers in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days. When eating the Veal Milanese, warm it in the oven at 200 ° C for 5-10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels and serve.
In Milan they use to reheat the veal milanese leftovers taking off the bone and dipping it in a tomato sauce. In this way the veal Milanese become soft and tasty, turned into a new succulent dish.
Freezing is not recommended.