A while ago, Stefan, over at Stefan’s Gourmet Blog, whipped up Veal Picatta which I thought looked absolutely terrific. Basically, a Piccata is a dish of Italian origin in which thin slices of meat (chiefly veal but occasionally turkey or chicken) are sautéed and then finished of a light sauce containing white wine and (in most modern versions) lemon juice. Veal is all but impossible to come by in my neck of the woods but it struck me that the very light, lean meat from good quality boneless pork chops might work very well instead…
- 2 moderately thick boneless Pork Chops (or 4 very thin ones);
- ½ cup Flour;
- ½ tsp. each Salt and Pepper;
- 4 tbsp. Butter;
- ¼ cup Wine;
- 1 clove Garlic, minced;
- 3 – 4 tbsp. finely chopped Onion;
- ½ cup good Chicken Stock;
- ¼ cup Lemon juice;
- ½ tsp. Sugar;
- 1 ½ tsp. minced Lemon Zest;
- 3 or 4 tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley (Italian flat-leaf variety).
First, trim the chops of any fat and, if using thick chops, slice them horizontally in half. Tenderize the pieces using a meat hammer or your fist, leaving them not less than one-third of an inch thick.
Season the slices with the salt and pepper and then dredge them in the flour, reserving a teaspoon of the flour for thickening the sauce later. Next, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over moderate heat and then quickly brown the pork slices on both sides. Remove them to a dish and keep warm for now.
Deglaze the pan using the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. When the wine has evaporated, add the remaining butter and lightly fry the garlic and onion just until the onion is soft and translucent.
Stir in the reserved tablespoon of flour and after it has cooked for a moment or two, add the stock, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. Once the sauce has thickened, add the parsley.
Add the meat back to the pan, spooning some of the sauce over each slice. Cook a few moments longer until the slices are heated through and then serve.
I served the Piccata with some plain boiled potatoes and fronds of fresh kale sautéed in pork fat with a little onion and a splash of vinegar. The pork was nicely complimented by the tangy, lemon of the sauce and I think it every bit as good a choice for this dish as is veal. In future, I may try not thickening the sauce with flour but, instead, allow for a thinner version that is merely reduced and smoothed with a dash more butter at the end. Otherwise, I thought this a top-notch supper…