In meat markets across the country, one of the most flavorful and succulent types of meat in the entire shop is veal. Following a pushback against the treatment of the calves, sales plummeted for this meat that was once considered a delicacy. After a series of reforms to the industry, it has slowly begun to come back to the butcher. Here is what you need to know about veal before stepping foot in the butcher shop.
Veal is the meat that comes from calves, the same as beef that comes from cattle. Most veal comes from male dairy calves who aren’t selected for breeding. Farmers typically feed the calves a diet that consists of milk, but some will occasionally feed them grains. While confining the calves to crates used to be the norm, this method of containment has since been mostly abandoned for more humane housing in group pens. It has even been shown to have a positive effect on the sustainability of dairy farms.
Due to several factors involving the age of the calves, the meat from veal is incredibly tender. Because the muscles haven’t had the opportunity to develop fully, there isn’t as much of the “beefy” flavor often associated with cattle. The taste of veal is often closely associated with pork.
Just as there are many ways to prepare beef, there are also many cuts of veal. The most popular cuts include loin, veal chops, cutlets, and meat chunks for stew. It is also possible to grind up for meatballs or meatloaf. Because of how juicy and tender the meat is, it doesn’t normally take very much time on heat to cook fully. It is a common ingredient in many classic French and Italian dishes.
If you are ready to put past perceptions aside and buy veal for yourself, come on into Vincent’s Meat Market in Little Italy in The Bronx. We can help educate you on what you need to know about veal to perfectly prepare your next meal.