Lamb Scallopini with Wild Mushrooms and Lemon Caper Sauce

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Scallopini is a classic Italian recipe often made with chicken, and a white wine sauce with capers. Other meats work too: pork, beef, veal, or lamb scallopini as I make here.

Lamb scallopini with mint, mushrooms and lemon caper sauce.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at foragerchef.com. 

How to Make Lamb Scallopini

The dish comes together quickly, as the only prep needed is to pound some cutlets out of a loin or leg as illustrated below. Chef suggests using lamb or goat loin for the most tender scallopini, but you could also buy a boneless leg and keep the remaining meat for a roast or stew.

After the cutlets get lightly pounded and tenderized, they’re seasoned and dusted with flour, sauteed, and stored in a warm oven to rest while the others cook. I like to cook in batches using an 10-12 inch pan.

Golden chanterelle mushrooms photo by Alan Bergo
Golden chanterelles grow near oaks and pines during summer in the Midwest.

A traditional lemon-caper sauce is good, but I love this variation using wild or cultivated mushrooms. I also add fresh mint which works so well with lamb. Pictured are wild chanterelle and lobster mushrooms, but any combination you can buy (or find) is fine.

Black trumpet mushrooms are good. You could also use Puffball mushrooms but cut them into small pieces. You might try a blend of shiitake and oyster mushrooms if you can’t find wild mushrooms.

More Italian Recipes with Lamb

Braised Lamb Sugo (Sunday Gravy)

Braised Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Homemade Lamb Italian Sausage

Lamb picatta with wild mushrooms and mint
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Lamb Scallopini with Wild Mushrooms and Lemon Caper Sauce

Serves 4
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Goat, Lamb, picatta, wild mushrooms
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 386kcal
Cost: 10

Equipment

  • 1 meat mallet
  • 1 Cling film
  • 1 12 inch saute pan or large skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lamb or goat loin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons flour plus more for dusting the cutlets
  • 1 tablespoon nonpareil capers or more to taste
  • ¼ cup cooking olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic finely grated or mashed to a paste
  • 1 cup lamb or chicken stock
  • Fresh sliced mint leaves about 2 tablespoons, plus more to garnish
  • 8 oz mushrooms preferably wild (substitute shiitake in a pinch)
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Vegetables especially wilted spinach or other greens, for serving

Instructions

  • Cut the loin into 4 equal sized pieces, then, with a sharp knife, cut them almost in half to butterfly them (see pictures). Next, pound the meat with a mallet on both sides to even it out and flatten it. Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Heat an oven to warm. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Working in batches, dust the lamb cutlets with flour one at a time, tap off the excess and brown on one side, until the cutlets are nearly cooked. Quickly "kiss" the other side of each cutlet but don't brown as they might toughen.
  • Transfer the finished cutlets to a pan and keep warm in the oven, and repeat until all the cutlets are done. Try not to burn the flour in the pan.
  • Add the butter to the pan, along with the mushrooms, and cook until lightly browned and wilted, about 5 minutes—if the pan dries out, add some more butter or oil.
  • Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute until aromatic. Sprinkle the flour over the pan, cook for another minute, then deglaze with the wine and cook down by half. Add the stock and continue cooking until the sauce is lightly thickened. Add the lemon juice to taste, along with the mint and capers.
  • Double check the seasoning, adjust as needed, then serve the picatta with the sauce and mushrooms drizzled over each cutlet.

Notes

Lamb loin is the most expensive and the most tender for this recipe. Cuts from the leg trimmed of silverskin can be substituted. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg

 

Lamb picatta with wild mushrooms and mint

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