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Veal

Veal is the flesh of young calves, 10 months old or sometimes younger. The flesh is pale pink in colour and darkens as the animal gets older. It has very little fat on it and, because of this, the leanest cuts should be BARDED before cooking.

Good veal is soft and moist in texture and if the flesh has a blue or brown tinge, it means it is stale and should not be bought. Veal bones contain a large amount of gelatine and because of this, VEAL STOCK is ideal for use in moulds and pies.

There are two kinds of veal available: from milk-fed calves and from grass-fed calves. Milk-fed calves are considered to have the more delicate flavour and finer texture and are also more expensive. Veal does not keep well, and should be bought from a reputable butcher.

Allow 4 to 6 ounces of boned meat for each person; for meat on the bone, allow 8 ounces of leg; and 12 ounces to 1 pound of shoulder, neck, hock and knuckle for each person.

The prime cuts of veal are the leg, fillet, loin, shoulder and saddle. Loin chops, chump chops and cutlets are cut from the loin and can be grilled or shallow-fried. Leg, fillet, loin and saddle are usually roasted.

The cheaper cuts are the breast, neck, hock and knuckle and are also suitable for roasting, boned, stuffed and rolled, or for braising, boiling and stewing. Neck is also suitable for moulds and pies.

The meat can be boned and stuffed or cooked in one piece. Place the meat in a roasting tin with

2 TO 4 ounces of fat, or barded with slices of streaky bacon. The meat is best roasted in an oven preheated to fairly hot

400 °F (Gas MARK 6, 200°C) for the first

20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to warm

325 °F (Gas MARK 3, 170°C) and continue cooking, basting every

20 minutes with pan juices. Cooking Time: On the bone, 20 minutes to the pound plus

20 minutes. Boned and rolled

30 minutes to the pound plus

30 minutes. If you are using a meat thermometer, the temperature should register

185°F.

In braising, the meat is first browned and then placed on a bed of sauteed vegetables with herbs and wine or stock. The dish is then covered and braised in an oven preheated to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Cooking Time: 30 minutes to the pound.

Some of the cheaper cuts of veal are boiled in salted water with vegetables and herbs.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes.

Again, the cheaper cuts of veal are ideal for stewing. These are usually more fatty and it is best to make the stew a few hours before it is required and leave it to cool completely. The fat can then be removed from the top of the stew, and the stew reheated before serving.

Suitable cuts for quick cooking are loin chops, chump chops, cutlets and escal-opes.

Preheat the grill to very hot. Brush the meat with melted oil or butter and grill the meat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side for chops or cutlets or 3 to 4 minutes on each side for escalopes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and continue cooking until they are done.

To fry chops or cutlets, use butter or oil or a mixture of both. Fry the chops over moderate heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until they are done. Cooking Time: 15 to 30 minutes for cutlets and chops. (The cooking times will, of course, depend on the thickness of the chops and cutlets). Escalopes take between 6 and 8 minutes.

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