Named after the cut of meat used, the 'costola' or cutlet, this simple recipe is a classic of Milan's traditional cuisine.
There are two versions of the same dish, the proper 'costoletta' is made using a prime rib cut with its bone, while 'l'orecchia di elefante' (the elephant's ear) is a thin veal cutlet beaten to reach a larger size, similar to the Viennese schnitzel (but do not suggest that to a local as they are quite protective of their traditional cuisine).
The 'cotoletta alla milanese' is usually made with a high-quality cut of milk-fed veal with bone (such as rib eye), passed through beaten eggs and breadcrumbs and then fried in clarified butter. The crispy and golden breadcrumb coating hides a tender steak which is usually served with a lemon wedge.
Its origins date back to the 12th century and legend says that the abbot of Saint Ambrose offered Lombos cum panitio on 17th September 1134 as one of nine courses to celebrate the feast of Saint Satiro, brother of Saint Ambrose.