Veal Piccata

A Classic Veal Piccata Recipe

Veal Piccata is one of those classics of Italian cuisine that most people have heard about and which almost always appears on the menus of the more upmarket Italian restaurants. Essentially, it is Veal Scaloppini dish in which the thinly sliced veal cutlets are pan-fried and served in a lemon and caper pan-reduction sauce. It requires a deft hand for frying the thin cutlets, but the basic dish is pretty simple to prepare.

The Basic Method

Preparing Veal Cutlets
Preparing Veal Cutlets

First, cut your veal into as many little ‘scaloppini’ as you like (four six is about right for a pound of veal), and season with the salt and pepper. Next, pound each piece with a meat mallet until about a quarter inch thick and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. I like to do this a few hours ahead and then leave the pieces to sit in the refrigerator.

Pan-frying Veal Cutlets
Pan-frying Veal Cutlets

When you are ready to cook, heat a little oil in a pan over a low-medium heat and gently fry the veal until cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Remove them to a warm platter for the time being.

Frying onion and garlic with wine while deglazing a pan
Frying onion and garlic with wine while deglazing a pan

Now, turn up the heat under the pan to a moderate high and add the onion garlic and wine. When the wine starts to bubble, deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook down until the onion is soft and the liquid has reduced to no more than a thickish glaze.

Making a sauce with stock, lemon juice, capers and butter
Making a sauce with stock, lemon juice, capers and butter

Add the stock, lemon juice, and capers, and continue to stir and reduce for a few minutes, then stir in the butter. Allow to thicken to the consistency of a thin gravy.

Finishing a Classic Veal Piccata Recipe
Finishing a Classic Veal Piccata Recipe

Finally, add the veal back to the pan along with the parsley and cook for a minute or two longer until the meat is heated through. Serve immediately, garnished with a little extra parsley (or lemon slices) if desired.

You could serve this with pasta (or even rice, possibly) but I like this with mashed potatoes and, usually, some green vegetable or other. To be honest, I don’t do Veal Piccata very often, especially as good veal is hard to find and expensive, but I frequently use the same basic technique for pork or chicken cutlets.

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Veal Piccata Recipe

This Veal Piccata Recipe is a classic rendition of an Italian restaurant favorite and uses capers and lemon for a delicious tangy finish.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Butter, Capers, Lemon Juice, Veal
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Veal Cutlets;
  • 1/3 cup White Flour;
  • Salt and Pepper;
  • ¼ cup minced Onion;
  • ½ tsp. minced Garlic;
  • ¼ cup White Wine;
  • ¼ cup Chicken Stock;
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice;
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter;
  • 2 Tbsp. Capers;
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley.

Instructions

  • Cut your veal into four to six ‘scaloppini’ and season each with the salt and pepper.
  • Pound each piece flat with a meat mallet until about a quarter inch thick and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Fry the veal in a little oil over medium heat until cooked through and golden brown, then remove them to a warm platter.
  • Increase the heat under the pan and add the onion and garlic followed by the wine.
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pan and continue cooking until the wine is reduced and the onion is soft.
  • Add the stock, lemon juice, and capers, and continue to stir and reduce for a few minutes, then stir in the butter. Allow to thicken to the consistency of a thin gravy.
  • Add the veal back to the pan along with the parsley and cook for a minute or two longer until the meat is heated through. Serve immediately, garnished with a little extra parsley (or lemon slices) if desired.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!