Does veal taste like beef? You may be wondering this if you’ve checked out a new restaurant and noticed the option to order veal.
Picture it, a night out at the hottest new restaurant in town. The menu is full of lavish choices. How can you decide between lamb, veal, and filet mignon?
Is it worth ordering the veal if by chance it’s just an inferior version to the meats that you are so familiar with?
Don’t fret, we are here to help you recognize the subtle flavors of veal and whether you should risk an afternoon trying out this delicacy.
Veal is derived from calves or young cows. As underaged cows, calves used for veal have underdeveloped muscles.
The weak muscles allow for a less bold and more tender taste than an average cut of beef.
What Does Veal Taste Like?
Muscle makes the difference when it comes to taste between veal and beef. This contrast is most apparent in the color of the meat.
Unexercised muscles tend to cultivate a white tone. A red color appears in muscles that have been exercised.
Standard cuts of beef from an adult cow are principally comprised of muscle. Tougher cuts have more developed muscle and connective tissue.
The developed muscle is what gives beef its dynamic taste. Remove the exercised muscle and only tender meat is left. And voila! We have veal.
Types of Veal
Generally, veal is considered a tender. The tenderness creates a sweet and savory taste. This is a distinct contrast to a standard cut of beef.
However, there are different variations of veal. Each variation has its unique taste.
Not Nob your uncle but Bob veal which is a newborn calf.
The maximum age for a slaughtered calf to be labeled bob veal is three weeks. Veal’s taste comes from the muscle or lack thereof.
Because bob veal is so young, the muscle does not have the time to develop halting the creation of a distinct taste.
Bob veal remains tender but is considered bland in taste.
Milk-fed veal refers to calves given specialized formula or milk. The milk is rich in nutrients that add specific proteins to the meat.
Its extra nutrients and proteins help to add additional texture to the veal creating a slightly more tender and savory taste.
Red veal is similar to milk-fed veal. However, calves labeled as red veal are given grain and hay in addition to milk.
Red veal can be tougher than other varieties of veal. The calves used for red veal are allowed more muscle development.
Increased muscle development creates red pigmentation in the meat. This deviates from the standard white color of other types of veal.
As a tougher type of veal, the taste of red veal is more aligned to beef.
Calves raised with their mother’s milk and fed from green pastures are free-raised veal. They are raised to mature until up to 24 weeks.
Because free-raised calves graze they incur more muscle development.
The healthy nature of a free-raised calf’s upbringing also provides organic nutrients that can not be reproduced in other veal variations.
Its organic nature makes the taste of free-raised veal with a sultry taste.
What Are the Benefits of Veal?
Due to the underdeveloped muscles in calves, the tender quality of veal is easy for our human bodies to digest versus beef.
One serving of veal provides an average of 10% more nutrients to our bodies than beef.
Protein, zinc, and several B vitamins are attributes of veal as a food choice. The nutrients found in veal can build the human body.
Veal can positively affect our immune system, digestive tract, muscle, cognitive development, and brain function.
Veal offers lower rates of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Veal vs. Beef: Does Veal Taste Like Beef?
Veal and beef are separated by the maturity of the cow when the animal stops being raised.
Adult cows or beef have finely developed muscles that contribute to the thickness of the meat.
In addition to the texture of the meat, the color of the meat is also affected. White or light pink colors signify a calf or veal.
Bright pink and dark red colors display a sign of adulthood in the animal.
Veal is common in fine cuisine or delicacies. It is renowned for its tender texture. Cuts of beef can also achieve a similar tenderness to veal.
Beef must be cooked slowly on low heat to reach the same level of tenderness as a cut of veal.
Popular Veal Dishes
Veal is a popular ingredient in several dishes because it is a luxury. Here are a few:
Blanquette de veau or French Veal Stew
A traditional French meal, blanquette de veau is more commonly known as veal stew. Veal, mushrooms, onions, and stock or broth are combined to create the dish.
L’oss Bus a La Milanesa
Derived from the leg of the calf, l’oss bus a la Milanesa is a cut of veal braised in wine. The dish is made from beef broth and herb relish.
In addition to the delicacy of veal itself, l’oss bus a la Milanesa is prepared to expose the marrow of the veal.
Münchner or Wiener Schnitzel
In American terms, wiener schnitzel, an Austrian dish, is a veal cutlet coated in breadcrumbs. The cut of veal prepared for wiener schnitzel is thin and breaded in flour.
It is then pan-fried and served with traditional jam or potatoes.
A veal chop is similar to steak. Veal chops can be fried, grilled, braised, and baked.
A veal chop is typically seasoned and prepared then served with standard side dishes such as greens and potatoes.
Veal can come in a ground form much like ground beef. Ground veal, egg, seasonings, and mustard or other condiments are combined and form a patty or veal burger.
The burger is then cooked and served on bread or toast.
How to Prepare Veal
Veal can be prepared in several different ways. Two of the most common preparation methods are to grill or pan fry the cut of meat.
Step 1: Heat the grill or pan to the desired heat
Step 2: Coat the veal in olive oil
Step 3: Season the veal
Step 4: Add the veal to the grill or the pan
If you’re using a pan, add butter to the pan along with the veal. Cook it on both sides until the desired level of doneness is reached.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about veal.
How Is Veal Made Today?
Calves are raised until they are about 16 to 18 weeks old.
Since dairy cows must produce offspring to continue producing milk and male dairy cows cannot produce milk, the male calves are the ones that are selected to be slaughtered when they come of age.
How Is Veal Typically Served?
Veal can be served in a variety of ways whether that be roasted, broiled, or grilled.
Often, veal will be combined with another meat with a high-fat content such as pork.
Is Veal Healthier Than Beef?
Veal is definitely healthier than beef when you look at the raw numbers.
The lower fat and cholesterol content makes it much more attractive to eat while nutrients such as protein and B6 are higher than beef’s nutritional content.
Of course, this will change depending on how you are preparing your veal but the base numbers between beef and veal have veal winning in the nutritional department.
Veal and beef each have their qualities. As a luxury cuisine, veal is more expensive because of the nature of the calves and how they are raised.
Even with their contrasts, veal and beef remain similar in other respects.
So, Does veal taste like beef? – Final Words
Not exactly. Both veal and beef can be prepared in similar ways and substituted for the other in many dishes.
However, veal is the more tender meat option.
Due to its tender nature, caused by the underdeveloped muscles, the taste and texture of veal can not be entirely replicated by beef.