Veal is the name applied to the meat from the young calf of from 6 weeks to 9 months old. Meat from a younger animal is very unwholesome and its use is prohibited by law. "Bob-veal" is the name given to the flesh of a calf four weeks old - sometimes sold illegally.
Veal is in season in the spring and early summer but can • usually be obtained from the market throughout the year.
Veal is not improved by long hanging but should be eaten soon after killing and dressing. In general the flesh of the young animal does not keep so long as that of the mature animal.
The cuts of veal differ from those of beef, being fewer in number. There are only six general cuts, the breast, shoulder, neck, leg, loin, and knuckles.
The chuck portion is usually included in the shoulder and neck.
The plate is included in the breast.
The rump is included in the loin or leg.
Chops are cut from the loin.
Cutlets, steaks, fillet, and fricandeau or cushion are taken from the thick part of the leg.
The rack includes all the ribs on both sides.
Good veal should have a fine grained, pinkish colored flesh; clear, firm, white fat; and hard, good-sized bones. The meat of an animal which is too young is white and lacks in flavor. The same is true of an animal which has been bled before killing. Veal which appears soft, flabby, gelatinous, blue, and watery is poor.
Veal from a milk fed calf is best; that from a grass fed is poorest.
Veal is never a cheap food.because of the large amount of fuel required to cook it thoroughly and the comparatively small amount of nourishment it contains.
In composition veal is lacking in fats but is rich in protein and contans more gelatin than beef. It does not contain the valuable extractives present in beef.
Veal is very unwholesome unless thoroughly cooked.
It is well to accompany veal with rich, well-seasoned dressings; such seasonings as bay leaf, peppercorn, parsley and Worcestershire sauce are good additions.
Veal is seldom served plain boiled because of its lack of flavor, but it is often used in well-seasoned stews.
The general modes of cooking veal include:
Shoulder - Stew or roast.
Neck - Stew or soup.
Breast - Roast or stew.
Leg - Cutlets for frying.
Loin - Chops for broiling or roasts.
Knuckles - Soup (most valuable in soup because of large amount of gelatine).
Head - Soup. Veal is verv difficult of digestion because of the tenacity of its fibers which renders it difficult of mastication. Because it is immature it is lacking in salts and flavor, and the flow of gastric juice is not excited.
Veal ranks low among the heat producing foods because of lack of fat. Because of the difficulty of digesting it, it is not a valuable meat for food.