Friday, September 23, 2011

Pork Piccata

I love piccata on any type of meat; veal, chicken, fish and even pork. Tangy, salty and flavorful.

Piccata is known for lemon, capers, butter and wine, which are definitely some of my favorite flavors.  This is a quick and easy dish to make, using the same pan for frying the meat, then making the sauce. I had a pork tenderloin that I wanted to use up, so I used that for the inspiration on this post. 

Piccata is usually served with pasta (or spaghetti squash, like I did above!) but it would also be a great meal with rice, potatoes or just some bread to soak up the wonderful sauce. The sauces uses a combination of white wine and chicken broth, but you could use only wine, or only chicken broth if desired.

Serves 4
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup white wine, dry
1/2 cup chicken broth
12 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
 Tbsp butter, cold
2 tsp. chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Cut your pork tenderloin into 1" to 1 1/2" pieces. Using a sheet of plastic wrap and the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the pork to a uniform thickness of about 1/4".
NOTE: If you don't have a mallet, you can use a rolling pin, or an empty wine bottle!

(Before pounding)

Pound the meat thinner than you actually want it to be, because it has a tendency to shrink back up a bit when it is cooked!
(After pounding)

In a plate, or a shallow pan, season the flour with salt and pepper.  Dredge the pork medallions in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour. Discard any leftover flour.

Fry for 2-3 minutes per side over medium high heat.  You want each piece to develop a little bit of browning on each side.  Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil as you complete the sauce.

After you remove the pork medallions, add a small amount of olive oil and saute the crushed garlic for 1-2 minutes.  Add the wine and chicken stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the pan as you stir. Add the lemon juice and the capers and continue to cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.  When the sauce is reduced by about 1/3, remove from the heat and add the tablespoon of cold butter. The butter will thicken the sauce and give it a nice flavor. Add the pork back to the sauce and if needed, reheat briefly over the heat. Garnish with chives or parsley and an extra wedge of lemon. Serve immediately.

Here's some other favorite pork tenderloin recipes:
Cuban Glazed Pork Tenderloin with grilled Fruit Salsa
Tequila Lime Pork with Mole Sauce
Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Sauce

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