A special thank you to Veal Made Easy for sponsoring this recipe post!
The all-American Philly Cheesesteak sandwich gets an Italian makeover!
This is the sandwich that had my husband’s colleagues clamoring at his office door at lunchtime as its aroma filled the whole clinic. Todd called me up to tell me, “everyone here is salivating over it.”
Every Philly Cheesesteak shop thinks they’ve got the best version. And I’m not going to attempt to compete with any of the iconic cheesesteak shops in Philly. What I’m doing is creating a fun Italian twist to this all-American classic. After all, if you’re going to add a twist to the Philly Cheesesteak it’s only fitting that it should be Italian, right? Philadelphia’s strong and proud Italian roots date back to the Colonial Era. And the Philly Cheesesteak’s inventor, Pat Olivieri, was also Italian-American.
And so we’re going to take this classic American dish and combine it with a classic Italian dish – Veal Milanese – to create this irresistibly delicious Milanese Philly Cheesesteak!
As the name suggests, Milanese is attributed to Milan, Italy where veal has been the traditional choice for these classic breaded and fried cutlets. Veal is much leaner and milder than beef; so lean that it almost melts in your mouth. Combine the delicate texture and flavor of veal with a delightfully crispy breaded coating and it’s no wonder Veal Milanese has been so popular that, through Italian immigrants, it made its way to South America where it’s still hugely popular today.
Incidentally, Veal Milanese and Wiener Schnitzel are virtually identical dishes (Wiener schnitzel cheesesteak, anyone?). In fact, the Italians and Austrians have been arguing for eons over who created it first. I won’t get involved in that one. I’ll just enjoy the dish :)
Let’s get started!
First, I made a video for you!
Look for very thin veal cutlets, no more than 1/4 inch thick. These are often labeled “veal scaloppini” because they’re the cuts used for the dish of that name. Veal farming has undergone a lot of positive changes in recent years with farmers committed to the best practices (eg, the cows are raised in groups, are never tethered or administered growth hormones, and are born and raised in the USA).
Lightly salt and pepper each veal cutlet. Dredge the cutlets on all sides in flour, dip them in egg yolk and then coat them on all sides in panko breadcrumbs shaking off any excess.
Immediately fry the cutlets. Don’t let them sit in the coating or the end result won’t be as crispy.
Another key to achieving a great crispy result is to make sure the oil is hot enough – but not too hot. You don’t want the coating to burn before the meat is done. Conversely, if the oil isn’t hot enough the coating will be on the soggy side because more oil will penetrate the crust. Having the oil the right temperature will result in a drier, less oily, crispier crust and a meat interior that is tender and juicy. The oil should be around 330ºF.
Fry the cutlets on both sides until golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate and place them in a warm oven. Do not tent them with aluminum foil or the steam will cause the crust to become soggy.
Fry the onions until lightly browned then add the bell peppers and mushrooms. Fry until crisp-tender and season with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Divide the vegetable mixture into serving portions.
Top each portion with cheese and let it melt.
Lightly toast the hoagie rolls and slather them down with mayonnaise and/or a good grainy mustard. Lay a cutlet on each hoagie roll and top with the vegetable/cheese mixture.
Buon Appetito! Enjoy!
Milanese Philly Cheesesteak
- 2 thin slices veal ,1/4 inch thick, often called "veal for scaloppini" to fit the size of the hoagie roll, or use more if they're small (can substitute pork or chicken, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness) .
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg ,lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 medium yellow onion ,halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper ,stems and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper ,stems and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper ,stems and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces button or cremini mushrooms ,thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese
- Grainy mustard (optional)
- 4 crusty hoagie rolls ,lightly toasted
- Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in their own separate shallow bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the veal cutlets. Dip the cutlets into the flour followed by the egg and the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. With each step make sure the cutlet is evenly coated. Do not press the breadcrumbs into the meat and do not refrigerate or the coating will become soggy. Fry immediately.
- Heat some oil in a small frying pan until about 330 degrees F (see Note). Once hot, add the cutlets and fry briefly on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven but do not tent with aluminum foil or the trapped steam will make the crust soggy.
- Fry the onions in the same oil (first discarding excess oil as necessary) until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the bell peppers, the mushrooms, the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and fry until the peppers are crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.
- Divide the mixture in half in the pan and place the sliced cheese on top to melt.
- Spread each side of the hoagie rolls with some mayonnaise and mustard. Place the fried cutlets on each roll and top with the vegetables. Serve immediately.
For more recipe inspiration visit Veal Made Easy!