Along with Milanese risotto and panettone, Milanese cutlets are the most typical and well-known dish of Milan and Lombardy. A plate on which everything is written, starting with a story that is actually thousands of years old (it seems to have been mentioned at a lunch in 1134) composed of a growing recognition at all levels: the famous composer Johann Strauss, so to speak . , he even dedicated a “cotolekt-polka” dish to her.
Furthermore, it is a really interesting story, which follows in the footsteps of, for example, theBreading as a method to “brown” meat. Golden? That’s right: gilding is evidently very popular, but invented to imitate kings, dukes and some others who in the Middle Ages, on the advice of doctors, ate truly golden foods, with pure gold dust, as an antidote against heart diseases. .
However, many clarifications must be made about the recipe itself that prevent us from making historical or other digressions. Let’s then go directly to the practical aspects. Starting by remembering that the chops alla milanese (name of the dish) are made with ribs veal, that is, slices of bone-in loin.
There rib size It is important to decide the cooking methods and times, that is, the final result. According to tradition, the chop should be crispy on the outside, moist and soft on the inside. For this, ribs 2-3 cm high were once used. Today between 1 and 1.5 cm is preferred, taking into account that the “official” height, indicated on the website of the Lombardy region, is 1 cm, while most chefs prefer “approximately 1 .5 cm”.
However, if you are one of those who prefer the taste of fried butter with a very crispy crust to the taste of meat… don’t despair: you are in good company. So much so that so-called chops have been in fashion since the 70s. elephant ears – approximately twice as wide as traditional ones. This size is obtained by beating the meat until it is less than ½ cm thick, therefore with a ratio between meat and fried breading almost one to one.
milanese chops They should be cooked in plenty of butter. The point is that there are no alternatives, neither to butter nor to abundance. If you prefer to make them with oil, go ahead. However, you should know that by doing so you will cook a different dish: the well-known breaded slicestypical of all Italy, except Milan.
As for the amount of butter, the rule (for purists) should be: as much as is necessary to reach ⅓ of the thickness of the chops while frying. Which means there can’t be a predefined amount: it depends on the size of the pan and how many ribs are in it. The dose that we indicate below (100 g) was enough for 4 chops in a pan that contained them to size. If your chops are loose in the pan… you need more butter, possibly clarified.
In the end the pairings. Tradition dictates that, as a second course, the chops are served with a side of fresh salad, fried potatoes or even asparagus, spinach or green beans in butter.
In Milan, however, they are also used as a single dish, accompanied by half a portion of saffron risotto.
Although Milanese cutlets have been cooked simply in regular butter for centuries, cooks and chefs have long used Clarified butter. That is, normal butter without milk proteins, which burn at temperatures lower than those necessary for good frying. In this way, a butter composed practically exclusively of fat is obtained, which can also be used for frying at high temperatures.
Ghee can be prepared at home., but you can buy it in almost all large supermarkets. It really is an excellent aid for perfect frying. So use it if you can. For the rest, remember that Milanese cutlets have been cooked for centuries with normal butter and no one has ever complained
To do it at hometaking into account that during processing a little less than 25% of the initial butter will be lost, proceed like this.
Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in a steel saucepan. Heat it in a bain-marie over low heat water, preferably if the bottom of the saucepan touches the water without being submerged in it. Let the butter melt very slowly, without ever stirring it. Of course, use a teaspoon to remove the light foam that forms on the surface (without throwing it away: it is casein, excellent for whipping risottos or flavoring soups).
Meanwhile, after about twenty minutes, most of the casein and water will have settled to the bottom of the saucepan, while the butter on top will have become almost transparent (clarified, in fact). We turn off the heat and very slowly pour the clarified butter into a glass container, being careful not to let the casein and water deposited at the bottom also fall.
[testo di Valter Cirillo]
- 4 bone-in veal chops, 1 to 1.5 cm high
- Breadcrumbs or coarsely ground breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 100 grams of butter
- Clean the ribs of possible ribs and external fatty parts, or grind the edge so that they do not bend during cooking. Lightly beat the ribs with a meat mallet (or the flat side of a large knife) not to reduce their thickness, but only to even it out: ideally the thickness of the meat should be the same as the thickness of the bone.
- Beat the eggs in a deep plate and wet the chops, trying – as far as possible – not to wet the part of the bone that acts as the “handle”. Then pass them through the breadcrumbs, pressing them with the palm of your hand so that the breading adheres well on both sides.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and heat it well, but don’t get it close to smoking. Increase the heat (high) and arrange the ribs without overlapping them. Wait about twenty seconds for the golden crust to form, then lower the heat (slow, almost to minimum) and let it cook for 6 minutes.
- Raise the heat again and flip the chops (you only have to turn them once), wait a few more seconds, then lower the heat again (gentle) and let it cook for another 6 minutes.
- Remove them from the pan and place them on the (hot) serving plate, draining off the excess butter, but not letting it dry on the paper. [anzi: le ricette tradizionali prevedono che le cotolette siano servite irrorate con il burro usato per friggerle]. Finally, sprinkle them with a little salt and immediately serve your Milanese cutlets, piping hot, accompanied by lemon slices, which diners can use as they wish.
It deserves a separate discussion. breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs to use.
For an excellent Milanese cutlet, the appropriate grain size is breadcrumbs, which are slightly larger than the usual breadcrumbs sold in supermarkets.
To summarize the story, we invite you to read the corresponding note. Breadcrumbs, homemade is best. Here, also as advice, we limit ourselves to saying that great chefs agree that the best breadcrumbs are those made with breadcrumbs. For our four cutlets you need 6-7 slices of bread: you have to toast them lightly in the oven, let them cool and then crumble them.