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.
- Bashing the beef
- Crumbing the beef
- Making the sauce
- Shallow frying the beef
- Melting the cheese
- 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
- 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)
Bashing the beef
- Place the cutlets between two sheets of baking paper (or dust your mallet in flour).
- I like to flatten them a lot but be careful, we don’t want to make them so thin they break apart.
- Give them as much salt and cracked black pepper as you like.
Crumbing the beef
- 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).
- Close the top and gently massage and jiggle the flour mix into every nook and cranny of the cutlets.
- Throw the bag in the fridge if you are running ahead of time.
- Whisk the egg in a bowl.
- Lay out a bed of breadcrumbs on a dinner plate.
- Dip each cutlet into the egg mix, getting full coverage, then fully coat in breadcrumbs.
- Pop them onto a sheet of baking paper as you go (you can reuse a sheet from the tenderising step above).
Making the sauce
- 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.
- Add 700g of passata and a small handful of fresh basil leaves to the pan.
- The idea is that we will slowly thicken the tomato sauce while we are shallow frying the crumbed beef.
- 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.
Shallow frying the beef
- Bring enough olive oil to shallow fry the cutlets (based on your choice of pan) to a gentle bubble.
- Brown each side, it won’t take long because the meat is so thin, and drain.
- Preheat your fan forced oven to 200C.
- Place them as a single layer in an oven dish.
- Again, we want to time this to be done as the tomato sauce is ready.
Melting the cheese
- Top each cutlet with a layer of our tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped spring onion tops.
- Pop the oven dish into your preheated oven (200C) and cook until the cheese has melted.
Serve with some green vegetables and a side of rice.
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