‘At last!’ I hear you cry, ‘a blinking meat dish after all that fish.’ It seems a bit counter-intuitive to show you a picture of Venice and then give you, not a fish dish, not a Venetian dish, but a Milanese meat dish. But I first tasted this in Venice many years ago.
If that summons up romantic images of expensive eateries, sighing bridges and carolling gondoliers, please disabuse yourself. We were hard-up for cash, staying in a modern hotel on the mainland and eating in an unlovely neighbourhood trattoria. But I’ve never forgotten the veal, bread-crumbed and cooked until juicy and golden, sprinkled with salt and drenched in lemon juice.
There was a time when on welfare grounds I wouldn’t touch veal with a barge pole (or whatever gondoliers use). But I’m happy to say the ugly process of crating calves is now banned in the EU, though I believe it’s still legal in the US.
In addition, British veal calves aren’t fed exclusively on milk but have proper roughage in their diet, producing a pinker ‘rosé’ veal. It means the meat has more flavour, it’s kinder to the animals, and its production allows dairy farmers to give unwanted bull calves a short but happy life rather than slaughtering them at birth. You can read more here.
Talking of higher welfare, I would recommend that you don’t use those vile orange-coloured things sold as breadcrumbs in this country. If you don’t have time to make your own, crush up panko breadcrumbs a bit smaller.
A few sautéed potatoes and a green salad make this an easy but satisfying supper.
2 thin veal escalopes
1 egg, beaten with a little water
1 heaped tbsp seasoned flour
3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
Place the veal between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash fairly gently with a rolling pin – you want them to be flattened but not annihilated.
Dip first into seasoned flour, tapping off any excess, then into beaten egg, then breadcrumbs, until well coated.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan in a medium-high heat and fry on both sides until golden. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once with lots of lemon.