This Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers dish can feed a big family one delicious meal and on the cheap, too! Works with chicken, too.
Finding meals that the whole family will like can be a challenge. So when I do find something that gives me 5-thumbs up, then I quickly add that dish to my weekly rotation. Finding meals that they all love AND economical can be even more challenging.
This pork piccata fits both criteria: family and budget friendly. There is some preparation and work involved, but you’ll see it will all be worth it when you see everyone inhale their meal.
Why you should try this recipe
Chicken piccata is more popularly prepared here in the US. Typically chicken breast is cut into medallions and then flattened. Because the meat is then coated in flour and then sautéed.
Pork tenderloin or loin chops are a tender cut of the pork and make the perfect choice in pork piccata. My personal preference is to purchase the big 8-9 lb pork loin from Costco that costs around $20. It is such a gonga deal especially for us big families who have to cook on a budget.
Then, I cut this massive pork loin into thirds, use my handy-dandy vacuum sealer to vacuum pack it and freeze it for later use. With each third pork loin roast (about 3 lbs each), costing now $6.66, I cut into 8 half-inch pieces for my pork piccata.
Now, the meat is costing approximately 83¢ per serving. And this is no small spec of meat, either.
The pork loin roast is a great cut of meat, very tender and very flavorful. It’s not as coveted as the more expensive pork tenderloin, but it is still plenty tender and you can’t beat the price.
And this lemony piccata sauce? So delicious and super easy to prepare. A great meal for a weeknight dinner or even a dinner party.
See my Pork Piccata Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
- Pork loin: The pork loin is larger in size compared to the tenderloin. It is also less expensive, but still tender and delicious.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Yes, you can pan fry using extra virgin olive oil. You can also use vegetable or canola oil.
- White wine: Choose a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. To keep this meal on a budget, I use Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is much preferred over garlic powder.
- Lemons: You will need lemon juice and slices of lemons for this dish.
- Capers: These add some salt and sourness to the dish and a staple ingredient in Piccata.
- Butter: A couple of pats of butter are added at the end of the sauce to add creaminess and flavor.
- Pantry staples: all purpose flour, chicken broth, salt and pepper
1. Slice pork loin across the grain, into approximately 8 half-inch thick pieces. Places slice of pork, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap. Evenly pound meat with a meat tenderizer mallet using gentle taps with the flat end of the mallet until ¼-inch thick.
2. Season both sides of the pork cutlets with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper.
3. In a small plate combine flour, salt and pepper. Press pork cutlets into flour mixture until thoroughly covered. Shake off excess flour and place on a baking sheet.
4. Fry 2-3 cutlets in a large skillet with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Brown both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove cutlets to serving dish, cover with foil.
5. Deglaze pan with wine and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes until garlic is golden.
6. Stir in broth, lemon juice and capers.
7. Return cutlets into pan and cook on each side for 1 minute. Transfer back to serving dish, covered with foil. Finish sauce by adding butter.
8. Once butter melts, add lemon slices and pour sauce over cutlets and serve.
Recipe tips and FAQs
Now, don’t be intimidated when you hear the word “cutlet.” All you are doing is taking your ½-inch thick cut of pork loin, covering it with plastic wrap and whacking it with the flat side of your meat mallet.
You don’t want to beat it to a second death, otherwise you are shredding your meat. You just want a nice flat piece of meat that’s evenly ¼-inch thick. This process insures even cooking and also further tenderizes the meat.
Now that the pork isn’t so thick, it will cook quicker and will still remain moist and tender.
I love serving this dish with asparagus or broccoli, or any other veggie that is in season and of course, on sale. For a starch, of course you can some linguine, fluffy rice or even mashed potatoes.
Don’t eat pork? Remember, you can make this dish with chicken breasts, too.
This creamy Piccata sauce is not a heavy sauce. It is made with white wine, chicken broth, lemon juice and butter. It also includes lemon slices and capers. It is thickened with the flour bits leftover from pan frying flour coated pork cutlets.
A pork cutlet is a thin, boneless cut of meat that is pounded flat. It is typically from the loin section of a pig, which makes it very tender. It is then coated in flour or bread crumbs and pan fried.
A pork chop is a slice from the pork loin. It can be boneless or bone-in and varies in thickness. A pork cutlet is a boneless pork chop that has been pounded thin with a meat mallet. This pounding tenderizes the meat and cooks up more quickly than a pork chop.
- 3 lb pork loin
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 3 TBS capers
- 2 TBS unsalted butter
- 2 lemons, sliced
- Slice pork loin across the grain, into approximately 8 half-inch thick pieces.
- Places slice of pork, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap then evenly pound meat with a meat tenderizer mallet using gentle taps with the flat end of the mallet until ¼-inch thick.
- Season both sides of the pork cutlets with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- In a small plate combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Press pork cutlets into flour mixture until thoroughly covered. Shake off excess flour and place on a baking sheet.
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat add olive oil.
- Sauté 4 cutlets for 3 minutes on one side, flip over and sauté the other side for 2 minutes. Remove cutlets to serving dish, cover with foil. Sauté remaining cutlets.
- Deglaze pan with wine and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes until garlic is golden.
- Stir in broth, lemon juice and capers.
- Return cutlets into pan and cook on each side for 1 minute. Transfer back to serving dish, covered with foil.
- Finish sauce by adding butter.
- Once butter melts, add lemon slices, pour sauce over cutlets and serve.
Cooking Tips: You can also make this dish using chicken breast or turkey breast. For chicken breast, flatten each breast-half using a mallet. For the turkey breast, cut ½-inch slices on the bias (diagonal) to keep slices intact when flattened.
Serve with pasta, potatoes or a crusty bread.
Serving Size:1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 710mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 47g
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