This is simple home cooking at its best. The classic Beef Parmigiana (we Aussies call it a Parmi) is a great way to make a little go a long way. They are deceptively rich and filling!

Plus you get to take out any of the day’s frustrations out on the cutlets when you give them a good hitting with the mallet. 🙂

I am using beef cutlets, thin slices of either leg or rib meat, but you can adapt the recipe to use pork, chicken, lamb and even eggplant.

Steps
  1. Bashing the beef
  2. Crumbing the beef
  3. Making the sauce
  4. Shallow frying the beef
  5. Melting the cheese
  6. Serving
Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 beef or veal cutlets (you might see them called beef scaloppine)
  • 1/2 cup plain white flower
  • 1 chicken egg, whisked
  • Breadcrumbs, enough to cover the cutlets (panko works a treat)
  • Olive oil (enough to shallow fry the cutlets)
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 700g tomato passata
  • A small handful of basil leaves
  • 2 spring onion tops (ie the green bits only), chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used a mild cheddar)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Equipment
  • 1 meat mallet
  • 3 sheets of baking paper
  • 2 chopping boards
  • 1 plate
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 fry pan
  • 1 oven dish
  • 1 heavy pan (suitable for shallow frying)
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Bashing the beef
  1. Place the cutlets between two sheets of baking paper (or dust your mallet in flour).
  2. I like to flatten them a lot but be careful, we don’t want to make them so thin they break apart.
  3. Give them as much salt and cracked black pepper as you like.

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Crumbing the beef
  1. Now for a little trick my dad showed me growing up. Pop the cutlets, the 1/2 cup plain white flour and some more salt and pepper into a dry plastic vegetable bag (I wash and reuse mine a few times).
  2. Close the top and gently massage and jiggle the flour mix into every nook and cranny of the cutlets.
  3. Throw the bag in the fridge if you are running ahead of time.
  4. Whisk the egg in a bowl.
  5. Lay out a bed of breadcrumbs on a dinner plate.
  6. Dip each cutlet into the egg mix, getting full coverage, then fully coat in breadcrumbs.
  7. Pop them onto a sheet of baking paper as you go (you can reuse a sheet from the tenderising step above).

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Making the sauce
  1. Add a splash of olive oil to your fry pan and start softening up the single sliced onion and the 2 finely diced garlic cloves.
  2. Add 700g of passata and a small handful of fresh basil leaves to the pan.
  3. The idea is that we will slowly thicken the tomato sauce while we are shallow frying the crumbed beef.
  4. It should be nice and gluggy by the time the beef is ready to go into the oven (see below), so adjust the heat accordingly.

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Shallow frying the beef
  1. Bring enough olive oil to shallow fry the cutlets (based on your choice of pan) to a gentle bubble.
  2. Brown each side, it won’t take long because the meat is so thin, and drain.
  3. Preheat your fan forced oven to 200C.
  4. Place them as a single layer in an oven dish.
  5. Again, we want to time this to be done as the tomato sauce is ready.

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Melting the cheese
  1. Top each cutlet with a layer of our tomato sauce.
  2. Sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped spring onion tops.
  3.  Pop the oven dish into your preheated oven (200C) and cook until the cheese has melted.

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Serving

Serve with some green vegetables and a side of rice.

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Enjoy,

PK


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