Veal that is Veal Quality Assured (VQA)
Veal is tender beef taken from young cows, very often males. Veal is lean and high in protein, vitamins and minerals like iron. There are two major types of veal calves:
- "Bob" Veal: A small percentage of calves, marketed at 2 to 3 weeks old and usually less than 150 lbs.
- "Special-fed" Veal: The majority of calves, raised until about 18 weeks and weighing up to 450 lbs.
Veal should have a creamy pinkish tone to it, and it may come with a thin layer of milk-white fat. You can buy veal frozen or fresh, and either has advantages. Flash-frozen, vacuum-sealed veal can be stored in your freezer for up to 4 months, retaining its original freshness.
When cooking veal, you can use from frozen or thawed.
Some of the most popular cuts of veal are:
- the leg, a prime cut, used mainly for scaloppini or schnitzel.
- filet, a very expensive cut, sold for roasting. It is also sliced or cut into medallions.
- knuckle is sometimes called osso bucco, cut into 2 inch pieces, perfect for stewing.
- loin is sold as cutlets or chops. It is variously divided into sirloin and rib, too.
- shoulder can be used as a small roast.
- best neck is an undervalued cut that can be very versatile.
- cutlets are popular breaded or filled, as with cordon bleu.
Veal is a very good value meat, with very little waste. Some of the finest organically raised veal is available through internet companies.
Did You Know?
Contrary to some perceptions, veal calves are actually some of the most well cared for and carefully monitored animals on the farm. If these calves were not raised as veal, they would be disposed of, as most farms only keep one bull for breeding.