To get you up to speed, the milanesa is a South American variation of an Italian dish where generic types of breaded meat fillet preparations are known as a milanesa. It consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or as in this case, pork. Cutlet is one of most typical dishes from Milan, Italy, typically a veal cutlet, coated with egg, covered with bread crumbs and then fried in butter with sage.
This version of Pork Chop Milanese hailed from Ronne Day of Fine Cooking. She claims you can’t have too much of the sweet-sour dressing to sop up the crispy bites of pork chop. Sweet meat is not our beat, so we reserved our thoughts regarding this marriage of ingredients until after we consumed the dinner. In the end, we both thought the mostarda dressing was a little too sweet for our taste.
You may never have even heard of mostarda, which is a Northern Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard-flavored syrup. Traditionally mostarda was served with boiled meats, more recently it has become a popular accompaniment to cheeses. Just use it sparingly until you get a feel for how much suits your own palette.
Originally this recipe was formulated with bone-in frenched rib chops. And many reviewers noted the amounts of panko and flour were grossly excessive, so I took it upon myself to adjust quantities which are reflected in the recipe below—and they worked out perfectly, BTW.
We had two thick pork chops in the freezer, so instead of buying rib chops we just used what we had. However, we did need to make a few adjustments, such as cutting the meat off the bones (it was almost impossible to pound down with a center bone). This resulted in six fillets because the large side, once pounded thin, was then cut in half.
My suggestion is just to buy boneless pork cutlets to begin with, which are cheaper than frenched rib chops. Plus, you don’t have to keep spooning oil over the large end because they are a consistent thickness. Speaking of oil, we had a container of oniony olive oil from a previous meal which added a notch of additional flavor.
We didn’t toss the bones either, but rather seared them in the olive oil which provided more seasoning (plus it was a nice little nosh for the Hubby). To further streamline the process, I did not wipe out the pan between cooking the chops, this saved both time and oil. While we weren’t entirely sold on the mostarda sauce, we absolutely loved the pork fillets!
Pork Chops Milanese
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup mixed-fruit mostarda, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 boneless pork cutlets, trimmed of fat (if your chops have bones, cut the meat away before pounding thin)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, ground in a spice grinder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain panko
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Baby arugula, enough for each serving
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Flaky sea salt, for serving
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon, mostarda, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup. cup of the extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.
- Put each chop between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound with a mallet until about 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper. (All this meat shown below came from two bone-in chops.)
- Have ready three shallow bowls large enough to hold one pork cutlet at a time. In one bowl, combine the flour and red pepper; in another, beat the eggs with 1 Tbsp. water; and in the third, combine the panko, Parmigiano, parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 200°F. Put an oven-safe wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and set it in the oven.
- Dredge each pork chop in the flour, then egg, and finally panko, lightly pressing the panko to adhere. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Fry one chop (two if your pan allows) at a time, about 2-1/2 minutes per side, then transfer to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chops.
- Serve the chops with the arugula and a drizzle of the dressing. Pass the lemon wedges, flaky salt, and any extra dressing at the table.
We paired ours with a side of roasted potato and onion wedges.
Adapted from a recipe by Ronne Day from Fine Cooking