Welcome to the Italian Cookery column with Silvia Todesco, and this month a mouth watering beef dish that the whole family will love.
Milanesa style thin cut beef (Cotoletta alla milanese): enjoy a non processed fried food. So easy and so good!
The 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).
The Cotoletta is, together with Milanese risotto, ossobuco and panettone, among the most typical dishes of Milanese cuisine. 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 weekly at Walmart.
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.
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
- 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…
My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.
About Silvia Todesco
I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.
I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!
But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.
Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!
So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.
Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!
Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).
Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.
In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!
Connect to Silvia
You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco
Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will enjoy making this wonderful and authentic recipe.