Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pork milanesa

I’m back! The kitchen was mine last night and I made an old favorite of ours, pork milanesa. It’s just a different term for something very much like veal scallopine or Wienerschnitzel. You’ll find it in Mexican places, more often than not made with beef. I’ve never had any success with the beef version – always leathery. But pork, or chicken or turkey? Bingo.

I was dismayed to discover that, while I posted a turkey milanesa and a pork one quite a long time ago, no one read it. Or at least no one commented on it. Therefore I am unashamed to revisit it.

Make note of the absolute essentials for this to be as good as it can be: brine the meat for 3 or 4 hours (2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, to 2 cups water). Rinse it, dry it and proceed; shallow oil – no more than 1/8” – you don’t want it to go over the top of the meat when you put it in the pan; oil must be hot as heck – when you think it’s hot enough, wait another 30 seconds; cook for no more than 45 seconds to 1 minute per side – seriously, trust me on this. Sounds daunting? It isn’t if you just do what you’re told! LOL.

If you buy thin chops, you may be able to pound them to less than ¼” thickness, in which case the 45 second rule applies. If they are thicker and you pound them to ¼”, you can go for 1 minute per side. DO NOT ERR ON THE SIDE OF “GOTTA COOK MY PORK TIL IT’S DEAD”.

You can get away with not brining the chops, but the results will not be quite as succulent. Your choice.

I’ve provided a sample photo of bone-in chops. Some cuts will have a bit more “tail” meat (at the bottom of the chop as pictured). I would separate that from the main part, trim it of fat and turn it into little medallions to cook along with the rest.

Pork milanesa (2 servings)
2 - 8 oz. pork chops, bone in or boneless loin, brined for 3 hours
smoked paprika (or sweet if that’s what you have)
black pepper
salt (only if not brined)
Flour for dredging
1 egg plus 1 tbsp water, lightly beaten
breadcrumbs (homemade are best, but Panko are also excellent – do not use flavored Italian breadcrumbs)

After brining, rinse the chops well and dry them with paper towels. If these are bone-in, cut the bones out.
In a freezer bag or between sheets of plastic wrap, pound until thickness is reduced by half.

Sprinkle with paprika and pepper. Dredge in flour, dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs. Place on a baking rack over a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat no more than 1/8” vegetable oil over medium high (7 on my 1-10 dial). When you think it’s hot enough, wait 1 more minute. Carefully slide in the meat. For ¼” pieces cook exactly 1 minute per side. If they are thinner, reduce the time to 45 seconds per side. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.

Remove to paper towels. Let them sit for a minute, then serve.


Jenn said...

mmmmmmmm...yes, I'd love to come to dinner, thanks for asking :) These look great...and I know they were delicious!

Pam said...

It looks and sounds wonderful. I am always on the lookout for new pork recipes.

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

Yes! Have you ever tried this with panko?

Anonymous said...

I never leave reviews, but this one was great! I used Italian Style Cantodina because they were the only bread crumbs at home, and it tasted fantastic! I used thin pork chops so I didn't have to hammer them :)

Thumbs up! Next time I will be making a batch and freezing them so I can thaw and fry any time I want to.

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