Reimagine the classic Italian-American inspired dish with this easy beef parmesan. Breaded beef served with a tomato sauce and cheese over pasta and a hearty salad.
This post was created on behalf of the NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Turns out, I love sinking my teeth into savory delicious dishes, like perfectly smoked roasts, or classic thick and juicy burgers. So when the folks at Beef, yep, the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. guys invited me to put a twist on traditional recipes with beef taking over as the star. I was excited to get to work in the kitchen. Bonus points if the cuts were common, inexpensive and easy to find at the market.
But, why make beef the main star? Did you know that beef is a powerhouse protein loaded with 10 essential nutrients and just 3 oz of lean beef is a perfect source of 25 grams of protein? Yep, turns out it’s a mighty package with a delicious and healthy punch.
But, can beef really replace our favorites? Does anyone want to try cowlimarie? How about Korean Fried Beef? And what about the classic marinara and cheese smothered breaded chicken favorite… Could beef be the prize choice and make the cut?
Turns out… yes, yes, and heck yes. Like these fun beef substitutes. And danged if beef parmesan isn’t everything you want it to be. My friends loved this meal, they raved about the use of a chuck roast and said the breading worked perfectly for the beef.
What you need:
To make this recipe, you can use a variety of beef options. I chose a chuck roast because it was at the market and was inexpensive, but most lean cuts sliced thin and pounded out would work well like sirloin, tenderloin, or even thin slices of round.
Avoid grain heavy cuts like skirt steak for this cut as those are better for thin slices, like in a stir fry.
How to make it:
Once you have the meat, you may need to pound it thin. Do this by laying plastic wrap on your surface and placing the meat in the center. Top it with another layer of plastic. Use a rolling pin or mallet to pound the beef into ¼ thick slices.
From there, prep your work area by laying out each station in order before you coat the meat in 1) flour, 2) dip it in the egg wash, and 3) place it in the cheesy bread crumbs to coat it. Placing the breaded slices on a wire rack in the fridge for an hour or so helps to dry out the bread and produces a less soggy fry.
Because the meat is so thin, when you are ready to cook it, it fries up quickly before it’s topped with sauce and of course, cheese.
What to serve with Beef Parm?
This dish pairs perfectly with al dente pasta lightly tossed in marinara sauce, or polenta. It would also be delicious on a hoagie roll as a hot beef parmesan sandwich! Pile a leafy green salad alongside.
Looking for another fun alternative? Instead of baking these as cutlets, consider cutting the beef into thin strips for a spin on “chicken” fingers!
- 10-12″ Cast Iron Skillet or other oven safe skillet
- Baking sheet
For the Beef
- 2 lbs chuck roast sliced or pounded thin
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup cooking oil
To Assemble Beef Parmesan:
- Cooking Oil
- 1 jar Marinara Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp Red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- Pasta cooked to al dente
- Fresh Basil
Prep the beef:
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl large enough to lay the beef to coat.
- Whisk the egg and water together in a similar sized bowl. Whisk the salt into the flour in a 3rd bowl.
- Arrange your work area with the flour bowl lined up next to the egg wash and finally the breadcrumb mix. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet at the end.
- Working in order, dip the beef one piece at a time into the flour to coat.
- From the flour, shaking off any excess, and dipping it into the egg wash. Let any extra egg drip off.
- Place the beef into the bread crumb mixture and pat the beef to coat and put each piece on the wire rack.
- Place the wire rack into the fridge for at least one hour before cooking.
Fry the Beef:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a deep skillet, place enough oil to be about ¼ to ½ inch deep and preheat to 350 to 375 degrees with a candy or oil thermometer.
- Remove the coated beef from the fridge.
- Use a small piece of the beef to test the oil temperature.
- Fry the oil 2 to 3 minutes to a golden brown. Flip and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer each piece to a clean wire rack to drain.
- Repeat the process until all the beef is fried.
Assemble the dish:
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic 30 seconds. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and heat through.
- Lay the fried beef onto a clean baking dish.
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over each piece of the beef.
- Spoon marinara sauce over each portion and top with more cheese.
- Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve the beef parmesan over hot pasta tossed with marinara sauce and garnish with fresh basil.