Saturday, January 12, 2019

Improved Veal Piccata

Ah, Veal Piccata--one of my favorite go to Italian dishes.  It's simple, quick and easy and you get a heck of a lot of flavor from just a few simple ingredients.

I've had a Veal Piccata recipe here on the blog since its first year, and it is a pretty good recipe.  However, two things:  One, this was sort of an improvised recipe, made on the fly while we were traveling in Tuscany.  Two, I've tweaked and (in my opinion) improved my Piccata technique over the years.  I decided it was high time to revisit this dish and present the version I am now cooking.  (Hey, if Alton Brown can do 'Good Eats Reloaded,' we can do something similar here)

Anyhoo, Piccata as I mentioned is a simple dish, and it is one of the best ways I know to feature veal escalopes, which are thin slices of what would be the round steak area of a full grown cow.  This recipe sears them so that have a nice browning on the outside, but are still pink on the inside, and a lovely and tart sauce is made in the pan afterwards.  Let's get started.

Veal Piccata

4 Thin-Cut Escalopes of Veal, about three oz each
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Clove Garlic. Minced
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Butter
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Capers (or more to taste)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt (or more to taste)
Pure Olive Oil for Sautéing
Corn Starch for thickening sauce

Start with your escalopes of veal.  They should be sliced about a 1/4 of an inch thick.  I usually cook two per person, so just multiply out however many you'll need.

Heat a couple tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet.  Get ti pretty hot, like 425F if you have a thermometer.  You want the veal to sear quickly but not overcook.

Place the flour in a breading tray and dip the veal in on both sides, shaking free any loose flour.


Then, when you're sure your skillet is hot, slip two or three cutlets into the skillet--don't crowd them.

Let sear for about 1 minute a side or so and then flip.  A nice golden brown crust should form on them as they cook.

When you've finished all your cutlets, place them on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Now we'll make the sauce.

You should have some lovely browned bits left behind in the skillet.

Add the minced garlic and let simmer for a few seconds.  Then add the white wine to this and deglaze the pan.

When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock.

Reduce your heat and let this simmer for a few minutes, until it reduces by a quarter or so.  Add the butter and let melt.

Add the lemon juice

and the capers and let simmer for a few minutes.

At this point, taste the sauce and adjust the flavor with the salt if necessary, and if it needs a little more garlic flavor, some granulated garlic (sparingly) can be added.  Should be just a hint of garlic flavor--mainly the sauce is tart and savory.

When the sauce is to your liking, mix a tablespoon of the corn starch with a quarter cup warm water and stir.  Mix this into the sauce to thicken it.

Serve the sauce over the cutlets, with maybe a little extra on the side.

Here we've served them with some roasted tomatoes on the vine and some angel hair pasta, which takes to the remaining sauce nicely.

Until next time,