What Is Steak Milanesa And How Is It Cooked?

milanesas on plank
milanesas on plank - Instagram

Though Americans are certainly familiar with global cuisines like French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian, those are obviously far from the only options around the globe. Numerous cultures have dishes with which you might not be familiar, but which are absolutely delicious if you give them a chance. One such cuisine is Argentine food, with its deep and abiding love of beef. In particular, you'll want to try what essentially amounts to Argentina's national dish: steak Milanesa.

The first thing to know is that while the dish is technically "steak Milanesa," pretty much no one calls it that. Instead, the dish is typically referred to colloquially as "Milanesas," since it's rare to see Milanesas use any other cut of meat. Essentially, they're very thinly breaded, baked cuts of a specific kind of steak marinated and tenderized in a very specific way.

Given their similarity to schnitzel and other European fare, the dish likely came over to Argentina in the country's large wave of Italian immigration during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Those immigrants brought with them Italian cooking techniques as well as a unique affinity for beef.

Read more: The Unexpected Meat You Need To Avoid Grilling At All Costs

You Literally Beat Up Milanesas To Make Them

eye of round roast
eye of round roast - Ryzen0827/Shutterstock

Argentina loves beef more than any other country on the planet; they consume more beef per capita than literally anywhere else in the world (the U.S. ranks third). So not only is it no surprise that their signature dish is beef-based but it's not shocking it typically involves a specific cut of beef. In America, the cut that's going to come closest is the eye of round, one of the least-fattening cuts of steak that typically comes in a roast form. To turn that roast into Milanesas, Argentinians slice it into ⅛-inch thick cuts then trim off any excess fat or gristle.

The next step is marination. Traditional preparations call for letting the meat marinade overnight in a mixture of eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley. Once the cuts are marinated, it's time for the breading, which actually occurs at the same time as the tenderization process. While you could just gently apply bread crumbs to the beef, you're not going to get the same flavor penetration as the traditional method. That method involves pouring bread crumbs mixed with seasonings (typically Italian herbs like oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, mustard powder, and smoked paprika) over the top of the individual cuts of meat and pounding them thoroughly with the flat of your hand. This serves to both tenderize the meat and season it at the same time.

Milanesas Are Great For The Freezer

Milanesa Napolitana
Milanesa Napolitana - Shutterstock

From there, the process is simple as it concludes with baking the Milanesas. Argentinians typically eat them topped with a spritz of lemon juice. You can also air fry them if you really want a faster meal. Since you probably prepared an entire eye of round roast for this, you might have way more than you can eat in one go. Don't worry, because Milanesas freeze quite well. When you're storing them, just make sure to put sheets of plastic wrap between layers of meat so they don't all stick together.

There are also other things you can add to your Milanesas as toppings that can turn them into an entirely new dish. A particular favorite is the Milanesa Napolitana, where you top the Milanesa with tomato sauce, ham, and cheese. The baking process creates the lovechild of a Milanesa, a chicken parmesan, and a cordon bleu. Another favorite is the Milanesa a caballo (or Milanesa a caballito), where you top the steak with a fried egg (it literally means "Milanesa on horseback").

However you cook them, Milanesas can become a great addition to your regular meal rotation. Since you can freeze them, all the work can be done during the prep stage on a weekend and then you can quickly reheat them when you've had a long day. You won't regret learning how to make steak Milanesa.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.