Celebrate National Beef Month with Good Eats – My favorite Beef Dish(es)


Traditional milanesa beef and french fries. Photo by Adobe Stock

By Pablo Loza, Nebraska Extension feedlot management and nutrition specialist

Growing up in Argentina, beef was always, by far, the number one choice when it came to meals. Argentina has been shaped as a country by its beef production. And for quite a simple reason, most of its territory is extremely well suited for high quality beef cattle production, and for an extended period of its history (and somehow even today) was a very scarcely populated country. Just for a simple comparison, with approximately fifty-five million head of cattle and 45 million inhabitants, as you all can imagine, beef is affordable, and ubiquitous on the Argentinean tables. Truly, I am not sure if I have a favorite dish but I have a favorite dish for every occasion.

Starting with the most casual day-to-day meals, steaks with a salad, mashed potatoes, or fries are the number one pick for your fast-track lunch option. In the same category, but with slightly more fabrication comes “milanesa,” a way to prepare and cook beef that could resemble a “chicken fried steak,” but not even close. Other choices for fast-track meals, collectively called “minutas” would include hamburgers served in similar ways everywhere. I pick the first two options, particularly during the summer months, because of their easy and short preparation times.

In Argentina, there are many other ways we cook beef, but by far, my favorite is the ‘Asados,” not only because it is a wonderful way to eat beef, but also because it’s in a certain way a ceremony. Think of barbecue-style cooking, but almost exclusively using wood (some cooks use only hardwood from particular species of trees), where different cuts of beef are cooked at different speeds to achieve the best attribute of the particular cut. All that in order to reach the table at the same time, requires mastery in the trade that is passed from generation to generation. Since it takes time to do a proper asado, the person in charge (it is only one) starts the fire, is attentive that the charcoals are not smoking, exposes the different cuts at different times, presenting the pieces to the heat in a particular way. As you imagine it is quite a task, and it is always good to share the moment with a glass of malbec, and a good companion. In that way, a meal becomes a great gathering opportunity, where family and friends share quality time, and conversation about beef, the best butcher shop, or the best wineries, all anticipation is eased in the meantime by having some empanadas, a small pie made of, yes, beef. 

From the many dishes, I’ll share a quick one Milanesa, which refers to a thin cut of meat that is breaded and pan-fried and then served with fried potatoes, a salad, and sometimes rice and beans.

Milanesa Recipe 

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cook time – 20 minutes

Serves six people


  • 1 ½ lb of thin-cut top-round beef steaks (6 steaks)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs or saltine crackers ground into crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • Half a teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt to taste


Grind the garlic clove and peppercorn in a mortar. If you do not have a mortar, finely chop the garlic and use a pepper grinder for the black peppercorns or ground pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk the two eggs lightly and add the garlic and peppercorn mixture. I usually add a Tbsp. of water to the mortar after grinding the garlic and peppercorns, that way it’s easier to add the mix to the eggs. Whisk again.

In a large dish, spread the bread crumbs mixed with salt (if using regular bread crumbs) and have another dish ready to place the steaks after breading. Using kitchen tongs, place one steak into the crumbs, turn to coat both sides. Patting lightly to make sure the coating adheres to the steak. Place the already-breaded steak aside on a plate. 

Once you finish breading all the steaks, you will proceed to fry them. Using a large skillet, heat a half-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is hot before placing the steaks. Fry for about three minutes on each side until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Place the steaks on paper towels to drain any excess oil before serving.