Many people wonder why veal is any different from beef. Didn’t they come from the same animal? Technically, veal and beef come from the same animal. But veal has some specifics to it. Veal is a cut of meat from a young female or male calf. Young male calves are mostly used because they do not produce milk.
There are different classes of veal, and the age of the animal differentiates the classes. Veal is an integral part of many dishes and recipes around the world. Once a calf is older than a year, the meat from it cannot be categorized as veal.
What does veal taste like? Veal comes from beef, so you might expect it to taste like beef. But they are not in any way the same thing. Veal comes from young calves, their muscles are underdeveloped, so the meat is way more tender than beef. When compared to beef, veal has a more delicate and neutral flavor. When you think of what veal would taste like, imagine beef but soft, with a less aggressive flavor.
Just like many people prefer lamb over mutton. You just might prefer veal over beef because of how it tastes and it’s more subtle characteristics when compared to beef.
Nutritional Benefits of Veal
Veal is what you can refer to as a nutrient-dense food item. In a 3 ounce serving of veal, you get less than 10% of the daily calorie consumption count, about 2000 calories. In that same amount of serving, you get more than 10% of the daily value or micronutrients essential for the proper functioning of the human body.
Veal contains micronutrients like protein, niacin, B vitamins like B12 and B6. Proteins and B vitamins help to keep overall muscle strength up and prevent fatigue in the long run. Micronutrients like zinc can play a vital role in the immune system, cognitive development, and neural response.
What nutritional advantage does veal have over beef? We are using beef as a platform because it is the closest thing to veal out there. Veal contains fat, but it contains a minimal amount of saturated fat. Saturated fat is great for metabolism, but in excessive amounts, it could lead to obesity and a host of other health problems related to saturated fat.
When compared to regular beef, the amount of cholesterol you find in veal is pretty low. Animal-based food items are the number one source of cholesterol. Cholesterol in excessive amounts isn’t good for the body either. Veal is a good source of protein, so you could have enough protein supply without worrying about your cholesterol levels when you eat veal.
Veal is great for metabolism. It contains omega 6 fatty acids and other compounds that can aid metabolism. Also, veal is easily digested in the digestive tract, so it doesn’t cause metabolism problems and it doesn’t impede digestion either.
Culinary Uses of Veal
Veal is similar to lamb because they are both harvested from young animals. There are a lot of ways you can use veal in your kitchen. In some traditional dishes, veal is one of the most popular ingredients. Italian and French cuisines have found a lot of use for veal meat. It is popularly used in many of their dishes.
Mediterranean cuisines also employ the use of veal meat. You can use veal meat in the same capacity as any other meat. If you feel adventurous, you can try it in different ways and implement it in jew dishes. Veal meat doesn’t need to be heavily seasoned like normal meat. It is best when paired with other foods with a light flavor.
Another way to cook veal is to poach it with a lot of vegetables and white wine. To make this dish, you need to cook the veal till it falls apart, and the sauce is reduced to a stock. Another Italian adaptation for veal meat is Vitello Tonnato. This is a cold dish that combines the unique flavor of veal with seafood. Veal is lean and very tender, it would be perfect for filling baked goods or used in a sandwich.
If you are in the mood for something quick without much stress or cooking time, you can roast veal with vegetables, it could be carrots or potatoes. Veal can also be chopped, fried in a pan, and enjoyed with olive oil and rosemary.
Veal cooks at a temperature of 160°F, the USDA advises that after cooking, you wait for at least 3 minutes before you carve or eat the meat.
What is the History of Veal? How to Procure It?
The history of veal meat can be traced to ancient Rome. The Romans believed that the best veal meat is one that is pale pink to a shade of light grayish pink. The production of veal is somewhat controversial because it is regarded as animal cruelty. The way the animals are treated and transported before slaughter isn’t pretty.
The male calf is better suited for veal because it doesn’t lactate. This way, the dairy products from cattle will not suffer because of the production of veal. The animals used for veal production are usually raised in pens or crates without space in a bid to make the meat redder and tougher.
If you want to get your hands on veal, you could inquire from the butcher shops or order online.
Is Veal Better Than Beef?
Some say that veal is indeed better than beef. It is healthier because it is much more nutrient-dense than beef, but that is not all. Veal is also great for the environment. Calves do not consume as much water and grain as full-grown cattle, they create less mess (feces) and less methane.
Facts You Don’t Know About Veal
- There are different types of veal; Bob veal, pasture-raised veal, rose veal/young beef, formula-fed veal, and non-formula fed veal.
- Veal is more expensive than beef.
- As of 2015, eight states in the United States banned the tethering of calves in veal crates, in a bid to curb animal cruelty.