Milanese Breaded Veal Cutlet

Cotoletta alla milanese

Milano. Lombardia

This is a dish that is so weighted down with misconceptions and poor execution (outside of Milano ) too often the veal is heavily breaded and the whole thing is deep-fried.  Just as often, it is bathed in tomato sauce.  Note that on many menus it is referred to as costoletta.  Non-Milanese assume that this dish is made with a boneless veal cutlet, but it is also common to use a thin chop on the bone.  Either way, the veal must be pounded before cooking to tenderize the meat. A milanese cutlet (with or without the bone) is not a thin strip like a scallopina, but is larger: at least the size of a large hand.

Serves 2

2 large veal cutlets, with or without bone, pounded thin

2 medium or large eggs

Unflavoured bread crumbs, preferably fresh

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lemon, halved (optional)

1. Pound the veal as thin as possible. Beat the eggs and then dip a veal cutlet in them. Lift it up and let any extra egg slide off.  After this step, press both sides of the cutlet into a plate of bread crumbs to which a little salt and pepper have been added. The veal should be thoroughly covered but not overloaded.

2. Lift the breaded cutlet and let any extra crumbs fall off.

3. Repeat the process with the other cutlet.

4.  Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and cook the cutlets on both sides over medium heat.  They should be golden brown, but not burned.

Serve them immediately, accompanied by a wedge of lemon.

Wine: A medium red from the Valtellina or the Oltrepo Pavese, or a Dolcetto

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