Veal Milanese—Italian Comfort Food
What is Veal Milanese?
Alla Milanese is a preparation and cooking method that originated in the Lombardy region of Italy (no surprise...Milan, to be exact!). Traditionally, the meat is veal, but can be any type of meat or poultry. The veal is simply breaded and fried in clarified butter over high heat (recipe below). There are many recipes for veal Milanese, but those using bone-in pounded veal chops (scaloppine-style) are most coveted.
Milanese-style preparation gives meats a golden, crunchy, exterior; yet keeps the meat moist, tender, and full of flavor. Plus, this traditional Italian comfort food is fast and easy to make!
“The best veal Milanese I ever ate was in Milan (of course!), at Al Garghet restaurant, just a half-hour from the city's center.”
Centuries ago, pounding and breading the veal was likely intentional during times of famine as a way to add substance and to help stretch portion size. In fact, when pounded, its large size and shape is called, "Elephant's Ear," or in Italian, oreggia d'elefant.
In Italy, Veal Milanese is also known as cotoletta, in Austria, it's wiener schnitzel, in Argentina, it's milanesa. No matter what you call it, the obvious advice to preparing this worldwide favorite comfort food requires purchasing the finest quality bone-in, veal chops.
Milanese-Style Dishes Are A Favorite Italian Comfort Food
Perhaps it was the romantic atmosphere enveloped with twinkle-lights in Al Garghet's al fresco dining area. More likely, it was the skill of their kitchen, combined with the quality of their bone-in, thinly pounded veal chop—so large it overflowed my dinner plate—the inspiration for us to source a veal in North America worthy of the Kolikof name.
Please try our own recipe for veal Milanese, which is as divine (albeit without the incomparable surroundings of Al Garghet).
Kolikof has sourced the best USDA prime veal chops in the world. Our small-batch producers obtain milk-fed veal from the most tender part of the calf. Excess fat is removed, leaving only the glorious veal loin rib meat. And then we pound it oh-so thin for you. All that's left for you to do is to make this recipe and enjoy eating it with your family and friends…
Serves 2 (Easily doubled)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
INGREDIENTS (Shop Kolikof Ingredients Here):
2 - Kolikof Bone-In Prime Veal Chops, Scaloppine-Style
2 cups Semolina (or any other unseasoned) breadcrumbs
1 cup clarified butter, made from 1 - 250g container of Echire French salted butter (instructions below)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground white and/or black pepper to taste
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Fried egg (served this way, Milanese dishes are called, "served horseback style")
Sliced Cherry tomatoes
Thaw veal chops overnight in your refrigerator. Pat dry. Set aside.
Whisk eggs and pour in a shallow baking dish that is enough to coat the veal in.
Place breadcrumbs in a separate shallow baking dish. Add salt and pepper if desired. Go lightly with salt because the butter is already salted.
Coat each veal chop in flour (this is easiest to do in a large plastic baggie).
Dip each veal chop in the egg bath.
Press veal chop into the breadcrumbs and coat generously. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to cook.
To Clarify Butter (can be made weeks ahead):
Melt butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan over a very low flame.
Do NOT stir the butter while it melts!
The milk solids will separate from the butterfat. There will be three layers—this is the clarification process.
When the butter is completely melted, carefully skim off the top foam layer and discard. Avoid disturbing the precious clarified butter that lies just below the foam.
Discard the watery bottom layer (the water and milk solids) by slowly pouring (decanting) the clarified layer through a fine sieve or cheese cloth, and into another container with a cover that is suitable for refrigerated storage. If using cheesecloth, use more butter because the cloth will absorb some butter; leaving you with less to cook with. Discard the watery layer.
Use immediately, or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to several months. You may freeze clarified butter in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
Heat the clarified butter to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit over a medium flame. Fry each veal chop separately until cooked—about 3-4 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook. The high temperature and quick fry is important because it creates the crunchy breading and while cooking the prime meat and locking in its juicy flavor. Clarified butter is what gives traditional Milanese its distinctive flavor, and tolerates high temperatures—regular butter will burn—do not substitute with oil or you will lose the authentic Milanese flavor!
Drain excess butter by placing cooked veal chop on a plate lined with paper towels.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately or place on a baking sheet in an oven at 175 degrees Fahrenheit to keep warm prior to serving.
Tip: leftovers are excellent cold or warm, and "sandwich style" on a baguette with tomato sauce!
Purists say don't garnish your veal Milanese—but we prefer to serve our bone-in veal chop Milanese topped with a bed of fresh arugula, halved or chopped cherry tomatoes, Ortiz Anchovies, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and our Red Cow (Vacche rosse) 60-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Our favorite sides include classic french fries, any thin pasta, and spaghetti squash. Enjoy!
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