Veal is the meat of a young calf 18-20 weeks old. It should be a very pale cream or delicate pink colour with virtually no fat. This leanness is good from the nutritional point of view, but it does mean that some veal dishes need a liquid or sauce to make them more moist and juicy.
Veal has a very similar nutritional profile to beef, although it provides only about half the amount of iron.
- Leg is a prime lean cut for roasting allow 225 g (8 oz) per person when buying meat on the bone.
- A boned and stuffed leg is even better, because the stuffing helps to make the meat moist and tasty.
- Fillet and topside, both cut from the leg, can be roasted successfully as joints, but are often cut into slices across the grain and beaten thin to make escalopes and schnitzels.
- Rump is usually cut into medallions or escalopes. Being thin cuts, these are perfect for very quick pan-frying.
- Loin makes an excellent roasting joint on the bone, or boned, stuffed and rolled.
- Chops and cutlets are lean and tender, and can be roasted, grilled, pan-fried or braised.
- Shoulder, when boned and stuffed, makes a good roasting cut, but the meat is more usually removed from the bone, trimmed of fat and cut into cubes for use in pies and stews. With long, gentle cooking it becomes very tender.
- Shin, from the legs, is good in stews, the best known being the Italian osso buco.