My pork Milanese recipe is inspired by a delicious Veal Milanese I first had at an Italian restaurant I worked at years ago.
When I applied to work at this Italian restaurant, I wasn’t so confident that I would be hired. So it was a big surprised when I was given an interview.
A requirement before anyone was hired on, was to say the menu in Italian. I was given a menu to take home and study.
I needed to memorize and communicate the entire menu in Italian to the chefs, staff and any guests.
While I am not fluent in Spanish, my mom always spoke to us in Spanish so I understand it well. This helped me learn enough Italian quickly.
l studied (and recited) the menu over (& over) again until I had it memorized-I did this over a weekend. Wouldn’t you know it, the menu was seasonal which meant I always needed to learn new words in Italian.
Want to know something funny? I would get stomped with the double ‘ll’ in Italian.
You see, in Spanish the double ‘ll’ in a word has the ‘y’ sound.
Versus how is it pronounced in Italian which actually has the ‘L’ sound.
So the word ‘Pollo’ (which means chicken in both languages) is pronounced differently.
I was hired and had LOTS to learn.
The restaurant was staffed with pastry chefs, sous chefs and head chefs and a knowledgeable wait staff.
In training I learned hands on about all the menu ingredients, the wine lists, new desserts and how to make coffee.
My trainer taught me how to make a cappuccino and espresso using a machine I had no prior experience with. I enjoyed drinking a lot of coffee here!
Any errors I made, my trainer would correct me only once. She expected me to never make whatever mistake I made, again.
One thing that really annoyed her was when a new hire would incorrectly pronounce ‘espresso’.
It never occurred to me until I worked there, that espresso was often mispronounced.
People typically add the letter ‘x’ to this word so mistakenly say “expresso” instead of espresso.
Unless of course you are from that side of the world or have been drinking espresso all your life. Otherwise many people make this mistake-I did!
I tasted the entire menu over a period of time.
I tasted so many new things here! They taught me how to make tiramisu without drenching the lady fingers in coffee.
And it was here that I was introduced to marscapone cheese. Oh my! I have had a soft spot for marscapone cheese ever since.
I tasted so many different types of sauces and discovered how much I enjoy a pesto sauce.
Oh and pasta-LOTS OF PASTA! Who knew there were so many shapes to pasta? I would dare say making pasta by hand is a form of art.
The first time I tried Veal Milanese I was sold.
I had never eaten veal until working there.
Can I be honest with you? I didn’t know what veal was before working there!
Then I found out about veal and I was heartbroken over it. I won’t talk about this one way or the other. But I will say this…
Veal is delicious and SO tender in this dish.
I watched the prep staff pound out the veal & chicken for the Milanese dish.
I was amazed at how thin they were able to get the meat. The first time I tried to pound out meat like this, I failed.
I tore into the meat and ripped it. I needed to learn the rhythm of this movement to get the meat thin without tearing it up.
Starting from the center working out to the edge-moving and beating it at the same time. Or working one end of the meat to the other getting it super thin.
If you use plastic wrap to do this, add a sprinkle of water to the meat so the meat doesn’t tear or rip.
In a pinch, a large plastic storage bag works just as good but don’t forget to use a little water here too.
Use whatever you’ve got on hand but I found I prefer to use parchment paper instead of plastic.
The first time I saw this dish being served to a guest it caught my attention.
The veal was HUGE that it practically was hanging off the plate.
And the smell! I even remember the smell because of the grated cheese in the breading that melts as it gets cooked.
The smell of cooked cheese or fried cheese is SO divine. Do you agree?
I remember my first bite of the Veal Milanese very well.
So I am not really sure why I never attempted to make this at home until recently.
Maybe because boneless veal is not as easy to find? Or maybe because I have a picky eater at home?
It doesn’t matter now because this Big Eats makes an appearance often in my meal planning. And this IS a meal requested often by my picky eater.
I found this portion of pork and this is what I use to make Pork Milanese at home.
I have been buying this large pork loin that needs to butchered at home.
No, we don’t Eat pork every day! I just rotate pork in my menu planning with the other proteins and meatless meals I want to make.
Otherwise, no one would want to eat pork in my home.
To keep from making pork the same way I had to get creative. This hunk of pork allows me to make SO many different kinds of Big Eats.
I can make a roast or two. And turn a roast into pulled pork sandwiches. And make delicious pork tacos or nachos.
Pork kabobs are a fun change up here. I really like to change things up with Asian flavors. And no matter what I end up doing, I always portion out cuts for Pork Milanese.
If you want to try Milanese but don’t want to use pork, use chicken breast which substitutes beautifully here. Just butterfly cut your breast or get cutlets and shoot to get it super thin.
And if you can get your hands on veal, veal would be most excellent!
So let me show you…
After I portion out the pork, I have cuts for Milanese set aside.
The pork before being pounded out thin beside one being worked on…
Bread crumbs need some love so they can shine!
If you make your own or use store bought breadcrumbs just make sure to season them if they aren’t and add cheese.
I like to add a lot of freshly grated cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano.
This cooks up quickly and I usually have two large pans to cook the pork in.
I preheat the oven to keep the finished Pork Milanese warm until I’m done cooking all of them.
We enjoy eating the Pork Milanese with a cold & creamy lemon sauce (pictured above) over an arugula salad.
But I wanted to show you how delicious it is all on it’s own!
The Italian restaurant was an exciting restaurant to work at. And I learned a lot there.
I especially love the memories of delicious food that I am able to recreate for my family.
Have you ever had Veal, Chicken or Pork Milanese?
I hope this has you wanting to make some real soon! Let me know if you do and share it with me!