Cotoletta Alla Milanese – Milanese Veal Cutlet – Wienerschnitzel – Milan or Vienna? Milan!!!

Cotoletta alla milanese with potatoes – Paolo Piscolla CC BY-SA 2.0


1½ lb Veal Cutlet 500-750g
6 tablespoons clarified butter or oil 90ml
2 lemons, halved (for garnish)

For Coating:
(made with adding salt and pepper)
1 egg, beaten with seasoning
1 teaspoon of oil
½ cup dry white breadcrumbs 125ml

How to make Cotoletta alla Milanese :

Brush with beaten egg, and coat with breadcrumbs, pressing them on well.

Heat butter or oil and butter in a large skillet and fry cotolette on each side until golden brown and tender.

WATCHPOINT: to obtain a crisp, even coasting, do not let Cotolette touch each other in a pan and do not remove them for the first 2-3 minutes of cooking so a coating can form.

Drain the Cotolette thoroughly on paper towels, arrange on a platter with the sautéed or chateau potatoes, garnish with lemon halves and serve at once. At the same time, cotolette Alla Milanese is still crisp.

The fragrance of the breading and the softness of the meat are the secret of Cotoletta Alla Milanese. By carefully dosing the breading, choosing the ingredients (for example, stale but not old white bread crumbs), and the temperature of the flame, excellent results can be obtained. A recent version of Cotoletta, prepared especially in the summertime, is to serve it cold covered with tomatoes, cut in thin pieces, and arugula.

Serves 4-6

Regional recipe from Lombardy.

New trends in Milanese cuisine

The traditional version, higher up, in which the meat remains soft and must maintain a beautiful pink color near the bone, has been joined in recent years by a thinner version, without bone, where the meat is beaten until it is very thin before being breaded. The flavor of the meat is thus greatly reduced by the prevalence of the very crispy crust. This version is called oreggia d’elefant (elephant’s ear), due to the characteristic shape it takes.

Milan, a bit of history of Milanese cuisine:

In Milan, the dish dates to at least 1134, where it is mentioned at a banquet for the canon of Milan’s St. Ambrogio Cathedral. Further evidence dates to around the 1st century BC indicating that the Romans enjoyed dishes of thinly sliced meat, which were breaded and fried.

According to some historians, the first indication of schnitzel in the Milanese cuisine dates back to the dish of lombolos cum panitio contained in the list of the courses of the lunch of the canons of Sant’Ambrogio during the solemn festivities in the twelfth century, a description reported by Pietro Verri:
“pullos frigidos, gambas de vino, et carnem porcinam frigidam: in secunda, pullos plenos, carnem vaccinam cum piperata, et turtellam de lavezolo: in tertia, pullos rostidos, lombolos cum panitio, et porcellos plenos”
(P. Verri, Storia di Milano, cap VI)
On the basis of this quotation, on March 17, 2008, the city of Milan, with a resolution, assigned the “Denominazione Comunale” (De.Co.) to the “costoletta alla Milanese”.

Cotoletta Alla Milanese – Milanese Veal Cutlet – Wienerschnitzel – Milan or Vienna?

Johann Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetzpublic domain

Johann Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetz – was an austrian field marshal. Bohemian nobleman, he was for a long time governor of Lombardy-Venetia. He had married, April 5, 1798, the Countess Francesca Romana von Strassoldo-Gräfenberg of the noble Italian family Strassoldo from which he had five boys and three girls. His wife died on January 12, 1854, at the age of seventy-four. As normal for the time, it was not a love marriage and the field marshal was able to keep as a faithful lover the Milanese laundress Giuditta Meregalli, who gave him four children and remained close until his death. It has been reported that Radetzky ordered to bring to Vienna the recipe for the Cotoletta Alla Milanese, which he loved very much, and this create there the Wienerschnitzel.

Five days of Milan – Unknown author Public Domain

Radetzky was the Austrian military commander during the Cinque Giornate di MilanoThe Five Days of Milan, the armed insurrection that took place between 18 and 22 March 1848 in the then capital of the Lombardy-Venetia Kingdom that led to the temporary liberation of the city from Austrian rule.

Is there something more, in addition to Radetzky’s love for Italian women and Cotoletta Alla Milanese?

Costoletta Alla Milanese is at the center of an academic dispute between Italian cooking, which considers it as Milanese, and Austrian cooking, according to which it is just a version of Viennese Wiener Schnitzel. Maybe versions of schnitzel previous to the Milanese one already existed in Austria, but they were floured and not breaded: this is suggested by the notes in the margins of a report of Marshal Josef Radetzky, which reported about a schnitzel cooked in Milan which was first dipped in egg and then fried in butter, and differently from the Viennese one, it was breaded.

Cotoletta Alla Milanese – vs Wienerschnitzel

This similarity is not by mistake: in the 1800s Milan was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Cotoletta Alla Milanese – Milanese Veal Cutlet, is a typical traditional dish from Milan. It is almost identical to the Wienerschnitzel, a typical conventional dish from Vienna.

The Milanese Veal Cutlets and the Wienerschnitzel are breaded; the Viennese bone theirs and dredge them in flour and bread crumbs, whereas the Milanese use only bread crumbs without flour, and the Viennese fry it in lard, whereas we Milanese use butter – BUTTER is BETTER!.

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at