Before I begin, let me say that (obviously) I don’t have a problem with eating veal. However, this is one of the few cases where I do understand why people might object to this food. I prepare this meat very rarely and I try to get good-quality stuff when I do, but it is what it is.
I prepared these the night of the now infamous Cacio e pepe as an appetizer. There’s a delightful scene in Godfellas where Henry is rolling off a list of courses he’s making for a big Sunday dinner and he makes an off-hand remark that he purchases veal cutlets on a whim since they looked good at the butcher. Romeos carries a decent high-quality meat selection now, and these where among the offerings on this particular day.
I’ve tried to do these once before and they came out chewier than I liked. This time, I took the time to flatten them with the heavy stone pestle from my mortar and pestle set. Set the cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap and go to work. It’s important not to pulverize the meat, tap down but also outward from the center and move radially to flatten.
Elizabeth suggested breading in panko instead of traditional crumbs, but in the end I used a mixture. The panko is great, but the coverage isn’t the best and it left some bald spots. The finer standard crumbs were helpful to fill in the gaps. I had had some rosemary laying around so I chopped some up and mixed it into the coating. I dipped the cutlets in some beaten egg with a touch of milk and then dropped them into the crumbs, padding them to help sticking.
Once they all were coated, I cooked them in a hot grill pan (medium high) on the range. I added some, but not a ton, of olive oil, to keep things from getting greasy and soggy. I cooked them about three-five minutes per side, making sure the breading did not turn black.
Typically, these recipes involve a long, low cooking process, but I found that the mechanical tenderization via pestle did the trick- they were much more tender then I remembered from my first foray into cutlet-dom, the nice rosemary flavor had matured nicely from the heat and a splash of lemon really sealed the deal. This a very traditional Italian-American dish and therefore not something I dabble in very regularly, but in this case, it fit the rest of the meal perfectly. Until next time, Ciao!