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Veal: A Few Notes

Veal is a calf under one year-old with the teeth of a young animal, weighing less than 600lbs. and of approximately four months of age. Today young calves start eating forages of various type and unfortunately, often with added hormones, quite early. The true veal must have been fed only with milk. This kind of feeding confers to the meats the characteristic delicate flavor and offers to gastronomy one of its delights. The "paiata", an Italian delicacy, consists of the first part of the tenuous intestine that, as soon it is removed from the animal, gets tied at the extremities so that the inner milk does not come out. Lamb and kid "paiata" are delicious too, when they are from milk fed animals.

Boiled, if cooked to perfection, veal remains one of the fundamental dishes of international cuisine, for flavors and for the role played in the preparation of other dishes. Boiled it can be served warm, with the many various vegetables, but it can also be used to prepare salads with herbs and spices, vegetables, olives, eggs, cheeses and anything imaginable. Boiled with crustaceans is one of the best delicacies you can offer to your guests. The resulting stock is indispensable in cuisine: beyond soups it can be employed in risotti, sauces, jellies, polentas and minestrone. In order to roast veal must be certain to enrich it with lard. Ideal for consistency and flavor, extremely thin slices of lard will help to make a perfect roast. Lard, melting during baking, confers flavor and fragrance to the meat. As par beef, another fundamental rule is that the cooking must not dehydrate the meat: if there is fluid in the baking container, the veal was improperly roasted. Not only will the consistency of your preparation be fibrous, but also the taste will be insipid since part of the flavor will have gone with the juices. In order to avoid dehydration some rules should be followed.

First, the meat must be salted when a little external crust has formed which prevents spillage of juices. An other rule is to use pots that allow fast and effective heat conduction: the best tool is the iron frying pan. Moreover it is fundamental that roasting is short (same as beef). Meat slices must be cooked fast on a live fire. Roasts must maintain a pink color inside. Cooking continues when the roast is taken out of the oven, so this also must be considered.

Submitted by:

David Russo VMD, PhD

David Russo, VMD, PhD
Veterinary Scientist, Gourmet Lover and Amateur Cook
718 8247308


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