Today we feature one of Uruguay’s most popular menu choices, Veal Milanesa. Easy to make and always popular with children and adults alike, who doesn’t like the delightful, golden crumbing coating over a great piece of veal? Typically served with fries/chips and a salad, no wonder it is such a popular choice at many restaurants in Uruguay. Just as popular is the chicken version, made with a chicken fillet.
Veal Milanesa (Spanish spelling) is suspiciously like Veal Schnitzel from Austria or Veal Milanese from Italy. I have not researched the history of this dish but intuition tells me the original was the Austrian Veal Schnitzel. The Italians, being so close to Austria, created their own version, Veal Milanese, from whence it found its way to Argentina and Uruguay. Do you know the history? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Did you knowt 40% of Argentines have Italian blood running through their veins? And Uruguay shares a border with Argentina. So it is not hard to see how Veal Milanesa “emigrated” to Uruguay. After Uruguay’s love of beef steak, Italian food is the next, most-preferred cuisine. Pizza, pasta, gnocchi are all very popular, so why not Veal Milanesa?
When in Punta del Este, we came across Veal Milanesa everywhere. The beach-side playground of Uruguay, Punta del Este, has fabulously sandy, river-side and ocean-side beaches. It is a perfect place to sit at one of the many, beach restaurants to enjoy a Veal Milanesa while you take in the sun, sand and the vibe of Punta del Este.
Read on to find out more.
Punta del Este, the Golden Riviera of Uruguay
Punta del Este sits at the mouth of the 137-mile (229 km) wide River Plate. On one side you have very calm, sandy beaches facing the river and on the other side, you have fabulous, surf beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side. No wonder Punta del Este is such a popular tourist spot with locals and internationals alike. Many Argentine and Brazilian citizens own property here and it is easy to see why.
The opportunities for walking along the beach at Punta del Este are almost endless. It is a most pleasant pastime not to mention good exercise on the sand. Or maybe go surfing if you fancy some more strenuous exercise.
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Fancy a bit of sunbaking and a swim? No problem, park yourself anywhere along the golden sands around Punta del Este and sleep, read, swim, people-watch or relax in a family-friendly environment. Forget your swimmers, sun block, hat or towel? Not a problem, just wait for the “mobile” shop to come your way and buy what you need directly from the roving vendor. They think of every convenience here.
Want to do some exploring? Take the reliable, local bus and visit another brilliant beach at Jose Ignacio for the day. Situated on the Atlantic side, it has even better surf beaches than Punta del Este and is smaller with fewer crowds. Wander around in awe at some of the magnificent houses here and enjoy a great meal at many of the fabulous cafes and restaurants.
And when in Punta del Este or Jose Ignacio enjoying those golden sands, my suggestion is you enjoy Uruguay’s golden Veal Milanesa, sip on a fabulous Uruguayan wine and just sit back and take in all the splendour of this great area.
Read on for a recipe for Veal Milanesa so you can enjoy at home, while dreaming of those far away beaches.
Uruguay’s Golden Veal Milanesa (or Chicken Milanesa)
Prefer chicken over veal? No problem. Just substitute the veal with chicken breasts and you are good to go. The chicken version is just as popular as the veal and tastes just as good.
This dish is simple to make and just requires some gentle pounding of the meat with a meat mallet. Don’t over crowd the pan. Depending on its size you may need to cook 1 or 2 at a time rather than all 4 pieces.
The dish in Uruguay is traditionally served with fries and a salad. Perfect at any time of the year.