“Milanesa” refers to a thin cut of meat that is breaded and pan fried, and then served with fried potatoes, a salad, and sometimes rice and beans. It is considered a main dish in many states of México and other Latin American countries, where it is a favorite with children and adults alike.
|Besides the main dish, the Menu includes Soup of the day, Rice, Beans and a Fresh Fruit Drink. About $3.50 US|
Today milanesa is one of the many dishes regularly offered in small-kitchen restaurants called “Cocinas Economicas”. These restaurants are usually located close to office buildings or industrial areas, in order to cater to the hungry workers at lunch time; here they can get a 3-course meal called "Comida Corrida" at an affordable price. These small restaurants will serve a main dish with soup, salad, rice or beans, and dessert, all for around 4 or 5 dollars. The cook usually offers 2 or 3 options as a main dish, like “Caldo de res”, Chiles Rellenos, or Asado de Puerco, just to mention a few. Milanesas are (most of the time) part of the daily menu.They can be made with beef, chicken or even pork. Cocinas Economicas are really busy places around noon time because lunch is the main meal of the day in México.
|A busy "Cocina Económica". Photo Courtesy of Clelia Pellicano. You can check her great work HERE.|
Ingredients for 6 servings
- 1 1/2 pound of thin cut top round beef steaks (6 steaks)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of bread crumbs or saltine crackers ground into crumbs (see note)
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Salt to taste
* This is my mother’s recipe, and we use saltine crackers to bread the milanesas.
* Sirloin steaks also work fine for milanesas, make sure to pound them very thin.
* You can use chicken or pork instead of beef.
* In Mexico, milanesas are sold in some butcher shops or supermarkets already breaded. I usually save some already-breaded in the freezer to use later on.Directions:
1. Grind the garlic clove and peppercorn in a mortar. If you do not have a mortar, finely chop the garlic and use a pepper grinder for the black peppercorns or ground pepper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the two eggs lightly and add the garlic and peppercorn mixture. I usually add a Tbsp. of water to the mortar after grinding the garlic and peppercorns, that way it’s easier to add the mix to the eggs. Whisk again.
3. In a large dish, spread the bread crumbs mixed with salt (If using regular bread crumbs) and have another dish ready to place the steaks after breading.
4. Now, to start the breading process. Dip the steaks into the egg mixture.
5. Using kitchen tongs, place one steak into the crumbs, turn to coat both sides. Patting on lightly to make sure the coating adheres to the steak. If necessary, turn steak again to have an even coating of bread crumbs. Place the already-breaded steak aside on a plate. I use wax paper to cover the plates for an easy clean up afterwards. Repeat this step with the remaining steaks.
6. Once you finish breading all the steaks you will proceed to fry them. Using a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil at medium high heat. Make sure the oil is hot before placing the steaks. Fry about 3 minutes for each side until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Place the steaks on paper towels to drain any excess oil before serving.
Serve with warm fries and a salad.
If you have any leftovers make yourself a “Torta de Milanesa” with it.