Veal Scallopini with Grapes and Port Wine Reduction

Veal Scallopini with Grapes and Port Wine Reduction

The fruity nature of a good ruby port wine combined with sweet red grapes makes a delightful sauce to serve over thin veal cutlets. This sauce is so versatile it can be served over a variety of thin cutlets such as chicken, turkey or pork.

4 servings


For the port wine and grape sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil
½ fennel bulb
2 shallots
½ cup seedless red grapes
1 cup good quality port wine
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons veal demi-glace
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup seedless red grapes, cut in half

For the veal scallopini:
1 ½ pounds thin veal cutlets
1 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Unsalted butter


Medium saucepan, fine mesh strainer, skillet, wire whisk, food processor, meat mallet, kitchen shears


Prepare the sauce:
Combine fennel bulb, shallots and ½ cup seedless red grapes into the food processor and pulse two or three times until coarsely chopped. Heat the olive oil in the medium saucepan and add the vegetable/grape mixture, the port wine, thyme and rosemary sprigs, and the 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then set on a low simmer to reduce by about one-quarter. Strain the vegetable/grape mixture through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

[Chef’s note: You can certainly chop the vegetables and grapes by hand, however, grapes can roll off the cutting board very easily, and are best chopped in the food processor.]

Prepare the veal scallopini:
If the cutlets are not already thin enough, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat mallet until they reach the desired thickness, about 1/8 – 1/4 inches. Place the flour in a shallow dish and add salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the cutlets in the flour and shake of the excess. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a hot skillet and brown the cutlets, about a minute or so on each side, or until done. Place on warmed platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

[Chef’s Note: Pounding the cutlets thin serves to tenderize them and makes them cook faster so they remain juicy.]

To finish the sauce:
In a clean skillet, bring the port wine reduction to a boil and add the demi-glace, balsamic vinegar, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat, and simmer until thickened. Add the grapes and heat for another minute.

[Chef’s note: If the sauce is not thickening, bring the sauce up to a boil and mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and add to the sauce while boiling, stirring constantly. You can repeat this process until you reach the desired consistency. To make it easier to slice the grapes in half, use a very sharp knife or kitchen shears.]


Place the veal scallopini on a warm plate and spoon the port wine and grape reduction over the top. Serve immediately.


Substitute thinly pounded chicken, pork, or turkey cutlets for the veal. This sauce is also delicious served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Recipe and photo by Lia Soscia