Milanesa is a popular Argentinian dish made from a breaded slice of meat, usually beef, that is fried in hot oil. This dish is usually served warm with a side of mashed potatoes, fries, or even a salad. While Milanesa is a typical Argentinian dish, the recipe actually originated all the way from Italy.
Origin & Cultural Significance
When talking about the most revered Argentinian dishes, Milanesa will always be a part of that list. Milanesa is enjoyed throughout the country and often referred to as the “unofficial national dish” of Argentina.
Milanesa is a meal made from a breaded slice of meat that is fried in hot oil. The dish has the same similarities as other international dishes, such as Austrian Wienerschnitzel, American chicken fried steak, French Escalope, and Japanese Tonkatsu.
It is said that Milanesa has its roots in Italy, where the dish is traced in Milan. The dish was called Cotoletta Alla Milanese, or popularly known today as ‘Milanese’. The dish became popular in Europe and had many variations, like Cotoletta Alla Bolognese in Bologna and Cotoletta Alla Palermitana in Palermo.
Cotoletta Alla Bolognese is cooked the same was as Milanesa but is topped with parmesan cheese. On the other hand, Cotoletta Alla Palermitana is coated in olive oil and grilled or baked rather than fried.
Wondering how this dish had travelled to many countries around the world? This is because of the Italian diaspora that happened from the 1860s to 1920s.
During those years, approximately 9 million Italians left the country for North and South America. Many of them went to Argentina, along with their Italian cuisines.
The meat used for cooking Milanesa typically comes from the round or from the round’s eye, which provides lean cuts. For a delicious Milanesa, we must use lean cuts because they have less fat, marbling, and sinew.
The typical meat used in Milanesa is beef. You can also use pork, veal, chicken or make it vegetarian by using soy cutlets or eggplants.
- Beef round or tenderloin (thinly-sliced, about 1/2 inch thick) - 2 lb
- Eggs, beaten - 2
- Breadcrumbs - 1lb or 250g
- Garlic, chopped - 2 cloves
- Parsley, chopped - 3 tbsp
- Black pepper
- Cumin, ground (optional) - 1/2 tsp
- Vegetable oil - Approximately 1 cup
- Prepare the meat by removing the excess fat and nerves from the beef to get it clean as possible.
- Slightly pound the meat using a mallet to just under 1/4 inch thick.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, parsley, cumin and garlic. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dip the meat into the egg mixture and cover it with foil. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour into the refrigerator. The more time it gets marinated, the better.
- Put in breadcrumbs on a plate to prepare for the meat.
- Once marination is done, take the meat out. Coat the meat with both sides with breadcrumbs and set aside.
- Pre-heat pan or skillet with vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Fry the meat for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Keep in mind that the thinner the meat, the faster it cooks.
- Once done, take it out of the pan and serve it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil. Serve it warm with a side course of your preference.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 903Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 56gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 669mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g