Catelli Brothers veal is packaged using the latest technology to ensure freshness. Look for veal that is creamy pink in color and a fine-grained texture. The most tender veal is from the leg, breast and loin, while the less expensive cuts come from the shoulder. You can enjoy veal as ground or stew, breast, chops (rib or loin), roast, round steak, and cutlets. Catelli Brothers packages both milk-fed and grain-fed veal, which is clearly indicated on the label. Properly cooked, both are tender and delicious.
Remember that larger cuts can remain refrigerated (use the coldest part of the refrigerator) up to four days, but you should use small cuts within one to two days of purchase. Your freezer will keep veal at least three months for ground and up to a year for larger cuts.
Preparation Before Cooking
Veal is easy to prepare. As with any lean meat without much excess fat basic preparation steps are in order:
- Leave a thin layer of fat on steaks, roasts and chops to preserve juiciness. Fat should be trimmed after cooking. To avoid flare-ups during grilling, trim cuts more closely.
- Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound veal cutlets to a uniform thickness for even cooking.
- Patting dry veal cutlets with a paper towel will help the browning process.
- Add salt and/or other seasonings after cooking or browning.
- When mixing or shaping burgers, meatballs and meatloaves, do so lightly to ensure moistness and flavor.
It is easy to serve your family this nutritious—and delicious—product. You can successfully cook veal many ways: sautéed, braised, stewed, stir-fried, broiled—or on the grill. When cooking ground veal, add a small amount of fat to prevent dryness. When sautéing, pan-frying or stir-frying cutlets, use medium-high heat to avoid overcooking. Stewed or braised veal should be browned slowly to let the flavor develop. Lightly cover to retain steam and simmer gently over very low heat. To ensure your veal is tender, juicy and flavorful, cook at 160º. So that your meal is not overcooked, use a good meat thermometer. Or, you can make a small slit near the center of boneless cuts or near the bone. Medium veal is light pink in the center.
Veal can be cooked frozen or thawed, but partial or complete thawing is recommended to retain the juiciness in the thicker pieces. For broiling, pre-heat broiler for 10 minutes then place veal in the standard broiling distance from cooking heat.
Helpful Hints for Preparing Veal
Best for thinner cuts (e.g. cutlets/scallops, ground veal, etc.), this is a popular quick-cooking method. Trim excess fat before cooking veal cutlets and scallops to prevent curling. To gain desired thinness, use a meat mallet to pound veal scallops thin (1/8 inch). Coat with flour or bread crumbs if desired.
Heat oil or butter in a skillet to medium heat. Sauté cutlets 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. You may wish to remove veal and make or add a pre-made sauce to the pan before serving hot. Do not overcook.
If you wish to cook similar sized veal pieces with vegetables and other ingredients, this is a good method. Simply heat a little oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
Stir-fry veal strips in 1/2 lb. groups tossing continuously until outside surface is no longer pink. Add additional oil for each group. Cook veal and vegetables separately; combine and heat through.
Try substituting veal for other meats in your favorite stir-fry recipes.
Broiling is the best cooking method for thinner cuts (e.g. steaks and kabobs). Make sure you keep the rate at which the outside of the meat browns with the temperature inside the meat. You may add seasoning before or after broiling.
Broil so that the surface of veal is about 4 inches from heat. For medium to well done broiling, use these guidelines:
- Rib or loin chops: (1-inch thick) 14 -17 minutes
- Ground veal patties: (1/2-inch thick/4oz. each) 8 -12 minutes
For smaller pieces of veal, cover with liquid and slowly cook until tender in a closed container.
You may coat veal lightly with seasoned flour, and brown veal slowly in oil in a heavy pan. Drain, and then cover meat with liquid. Simmer over low heat on stovetop or in the oven at 325º until tender.
Browning directly over the heat source adds rich flavor to veal. Grilling reduces the overall fat content by allowing fat to escape from the meat. Among the cuts that are best for grilling are veal chops, medallions, ground veal patties, and kabobs.
Before grilling, season veal with herbs or spices for added flavor.
Veal grills best at medium heat.
After seasoning to your taste, slowly brown meat in oil in a heavy pan. Add a bit of liquid. Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on stovetop or in the oven at 325º oven until tender. Save the braising liquid for making sauce. Some helpful guidelines:
- Boneless breast, stuffed, rolled & tied: 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. = 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hrs. 4 to 4-1/2 lbs. = 2 to 2-1/2 hrs.
- Boneless breast rolled & tied: 2 to 3 lbs. = 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hrs.
- Arm or blade steak: 3/4 to 1 inch thick = 50 to 60 minutes
- Boneless shoulder roast: 3-1/2 lbs. to 4 lbs. = 2 to 2-1/2 hrs.
Source: Cattlemen’s Beef Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and VealMadeEasy.com
For more information about veal go to VealMadeEasy.com