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What Is Veal?

What is veal? From what animal is veal?

Veal is the meat from a male calf up to 16 to 18 weeks old. It is not fed any grains or grasses, which gives its meat a delicate texture and a creamy pale color with a grayish-pink hue. Beef, on the other hand, is the darker, red meat from older animals.

The age and the way the young calves are fed makes a difference in the meat. Bob veal is the meat from calves up to 1 month of age. Milk-fed veal from calves up to 12 months old is more delicate than veal from formula-fed calves up to 4 months old.

Baked Veal Milanese | Photo by Buckwheat Queen

What are the Different Cuts of Veal?

Veal chops come either from the loin or from the rib. They are best for grilling, roasting, or broiling.

Veal shank is from the hind shank, the leg bone beneath the knee and shoulder. Veal shank is usually cross-cut so it reveals a cross section of the shin bone. A popular dish with veal shanks are Italian braised veal shanks, Veal Osso Bucco.

Veal cutlets are thin, about ¼-inch thick slices from the leg. They are best fried plain or breaded.

Veal sweetbreads are the thymus gland and pancreas of young calves. They are highly perishable and should be soaked before cooking.

Ground veal is made of veal trimmings. Because it is very lean, it is mostly used in combination with other ground meats, such as pork and beef.

What Are Dishes with Veal?

Veal is an important ingredient in several European cuisines. Veal cutlets, called scallopini in Italian, are used in Veal Piccata, breaded and fried veal cutlets served in a buttery lemon-caper sauce. Other variations of veal cutlets are Veal Marsala with a Marsala wine sauce, and Veal Parmesan with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. Veal Milanese Style are plain breaded veal cutlets. Wiener Schnitzel is another world-famous dish with veal cutlets.

Veal demi-glace is a thick veal stock used as a base for soups and sauces. Because it is time-consuming to make, ready-to-use veal demi is sold in jars.

More of Our Favorite Veal Recipes

Veal Roast Blanquette

"This is a mouthwatering tender roast with vegetables and a great gravy that gives a fantastic presentation," says HSTR. "It slow cooks once browned, so you can be straightening up the house while it simmers. You can get the boneless shoulder roast and roll it very tightly yourself and tie it several times with butcher string. Sometimes if you explain to the butcher, they will do it for you. Great served with fresh steamed asparagus or green bean spears."

Veal Roast Blanquette

Photo by catherine.drew

Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms

"A quick, delicious entree that is sure to impress any guest, and so easy to throw together," says COOKINGQUEEN75. "Serve with a side of pasta and they'll think they're in Italy!"

Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms

Photo by naples34102

Wiener Schnitzel

"This recipe produces a classic Wiener Schnitzel, i.e., a veal cutlet in the encrusted Viennese manner," says William. "Follow this recipe and you will have a delicious meal."

Wiener Schnitzel

Photo by Islandartist

Creamy Mushroom Meatloaf

Here's a braised meatloaf that calls for a trio of ground meats: veal, beef, and pork. "The braising technique keeps the meatloaf moist, while fortifying the sauce with its flavorful drippings," says Chef John.

Creamy Mushroom Meatloaf

Photo by Chef John

Traditional Osso Buco

"This recipe for veal shanks is a traditional but simple way of cooking Osso Buco," says PICKLEDPOSSUM. "The white wine is a must in this dish."

Traditional Osso Buco

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Veal Forestiere

Thin veal cutlets are breaded and browned in the pan, then served in a delicious mushroom and Marsala sauce. "A delicious, elegant entree," says CADEMAIO. "I sauted the veal in butter and olive oil and used chicken stock instead of veal. It was fabulous -- and ever so easy!"

Veal Forestiere

Photo by naples34102

Cubanelle and Veal Bolognese

"I have found myself making daily visits to Joseph's Classic Market these days and creating new recipes," says Cindy Anschutz Barbieri. "Not only do we have amazing markets here in Palm Beach Gardens but our farmers markets are spectacular. I got 4 Cubanelle peppers and grilled 2 with our steak dinner. Looking at the remaining 2, this dish came to me. Enjoy with your favorite pasta, spaghetti squash, or sweet potato noodles."

Cubanelle and Veal Bolognese

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Check out our collection of Veal Recipes.


Nadia Hassani

About Nadia Hassani

Passionate locavore cook and gardener who loves to make everything fresh and from scratch. Cookbook author and blogger. Can be found as nch on Allrecipes and on Instagram.