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Breading Cutlets

Q: I have beef, or sometimes venison, that has been run through a tenderizer. I want to bread them and fry or bake them like a veal cutlet. My problem is that I dip the meat pieces in egg and then lay them on a plate that has a mixture of flour/seasonings/fine breadcrumbs. I then put usually olive oil in a pan, heat it up to medium temperature and put the cutlets in.  Most of the time the breading stays on the pan and not on my cutlets.  Any ideas for the perfect cutlet?

-- Shelley B

The problem is that as the cutlet heats up, moisture on or near the surface of the meat turns to steam and lifts the egg coating away. To avoid this, do two things. First, pat any juices off the surface of the meat using a paper towel or clean cloth. The intent is to remove wetness, not to completely dry the meat off.  You need some moisture for the second step.

Now, dredge the meat in seasoned flour, then egg, then the breadcrumbs. The flour will stick to the meat and gelatinize with the steam. It will also provide a surface that the egg will stick to better, so the flour acts to keep the cutlet and coating together. Be sure to shake off as much flour as possible because too much will cause the meat to be covered in a gooey layer of cooked starch.

For variety, you can try adding flavor to the flour. I like to add some garlic powder or, depending on the meat, maybe some ground rosemary, marjoram or sage. You could also try some curry or chili powder.

The other change that I would suggest is that you have the oil heated in the pan before you begin to coat the meat. This should help in getting a nice golden coating by lessening the amount of moisture that soaks from the eggs into the breadcrumbs before cooking.  You may want to try increasing the temperature of the pan to medium-high, also.


Do the above, but add the bound breading tricks of lightly patting on the layer of breadcrumbs (not just dredging) so they're firmly adhered, and of setting the thrice-coated cutlets on a cooling rack to dry for 20 minutes or so.

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