Pork Medallions with Picatta Sauce

Picatta sauce is a great sauce to have in your repertoire because you can pair it with chicken, pork, veal, fish, or seafood. You can also add some white wine to the sauce when adding the chicken stock. Serve over rice or pasta for a perfect and easy meal.

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What is Picatta Sauce?

Picatta is an Italian dish of veal that is sliced, sautéed and served with a lemon-caper butter sauce. The style of cooking and delicious sauce has been applied more commonly to chicken in the USA, but it also works perfectly for pork and so… pork picatta! 

How to Make Pork Picatta

Pork picatta starts with a pork tenderloin – one of the most tender cuts of pork. The first step in making anything picatta is to slice it, so the tenderloin is sliced into pieces that are about 1½-inches thick and then pounded thin. Dredge the pork in seasoned flour and jump into the second picatta step – sauté it to give it a nice brown color on both sides, just barely cooking it through. The third step is to make the picatta sauce, which comes together in less than 10 minutes with shallots, garlic, chicken stock, lemon juice, capers, butter and parsley. Return the pork to the pan, and you’re done! 

Pork Picatta on a bed of pasta with asparagus spears on a wooden table with bread, salt and pepper and white wine.

Substitute for Capers in Picatta

Capers are a delicious, briney, salty ingredient that I love in so many dishes, but there are folks who just don’t like them. One important step when using capers is to rinse them before adding them to a recipe. Many people forget about (or didn’t now in the first place) rinsing capers. If you’re one of those people who don’t like capers, perhaps you didn’t rinse them first? If I can’t convince you to jump on the caper band wagon even after you’ve rinsed them, try substituting chopped green olives in this recipe instead. 

What to Serve with Picatta

I love pork picatta over thin angel hair or spaghetti, but any long pasta will do – fettucine, pappardelle egg noodles, etc.. If you’re not one for pasta, picatta would also be delicious with some mashed potatoes or basmati rice to soak up the sauce. Then, a side salad or a cooked vegetable like broccoli or asparagus would be a good choice. A glass of white wine next to the plate would make it perfect!

Pork Medallions with Picatta Sauce

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 25 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin about 1 pound salt freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon sliced
  • ½ shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to the lowest temperature you can – usually around 170 ̊F.
  2. Prepare the pork medallions. Remove the silver skin (the silver membrane found on part of the exterior of the tenderloin) by running a sharp knife underneath it and cutting it off the meat. Slice the tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Pound these slices gently with a meat pounder until they are approximately ¾-inch thick. Season the pork medallions with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the pork in the flour and shake off any excess.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and sear the pork in batches for about 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork and place on a platter, covered with aluminum foil, in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the lemon slices to the pan and brown lightly. Then, add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute, taking care not to burn the drippings in the skillet. Add the chicken stock and simmer, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, until the liquid has reduced by half – about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and capers to the skillet and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the pork medallions and any juices to the skillet and turn to coat all the pieces in the sauce. Serve immediately.
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Comments (18)Post a Reply

    1. Hi David. Yes, I flatten the pork to about ¾-inch thick. That is thick enough so that it gets some color on the outside without drying out inside. If you’d prefer them thinner, you can certainly do that, but make sure you reduce the cooking time in the pan too.
      ML

  1. 5 stars
    The veal piccata recipe is awesome! Tasty, flavorful, made me look like a real chef the only thing missing was a big puffy white hat! I did omit the capers, I am not a fan of capers and I did substitute onions for the shallots because onions is what I had on hand and I was anxious to get this recipe going! Delicious… Simply delicious! I want to impress your company: MAKE THIS!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for something easy for dinner tonight, and I just happened to find my Blue Jean Chef newsletter for Quick and Easy Dinners in my email. I took a look and saw this recipe, so I made it. Wow! It’s a knockout! I used boneless pork chops that I just cut in half and pounded out instead of the pork tenderloin, and it was delicious! My wife took one bite and said it must be added to our favorites immediately.

  3. 3 stars
    Three tablespoons capers???? One clove garlic??? You must be kidding! This dish had the potential to be a great recipe but the ingredients were either too heavy handed….capers or not enough…garlic. Lemon slices, lemon juice, shallots combined with a gallatically heavy use of capers was way off the mark. My lips are still puckered up a day later. Will try again but NOT as you recommend.

    1. Hi Bill. The beauty of cooking at home is that you can tailor recipes to suit different tastes. I am not a lover of garlic and more than one clove would do me in, but you should feel free to add as much as you like. As for the capers, make sure you drain and rinse capers before you use them and don’t add the brine that they come in. That takes away the acid and leaves you with a salty ingredient instead. The cup of chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of butter to ¼ cup of lemon juice should be enough fat to counteract the acid in the recipe, but again, if you don’t like acidic ingredients decrease the amount of fresh lemon juice that you are using to make this recipe your own. Hope you do find a version that you like.
      ML

  4. 5 stars
    Made this dish tonight and absolutely loved it! Great way to use a pork tenderloin and was really simple to make. Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  5. Thanks I haven’t made this in a looong time so I forgot. I used to sneak anchovies into sauce for briny taste and no-one knew. Thanks for reminding me and bringing it back

  6. I just made this for my family. It was delicious. Even my husband who steers clear of lemony foods raved. Meredith, you are the best. It came together very nicely, easy dish.

  7. 5 stars
    This is the simplest picatta recipe I’ve found and it’s delicious. Quick, easy, delicious what more could you ask for. It’s become part of my regular rotation.

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