What Does Veal Taste Like?

Meat-lovers can agree that veal is a great protein choice to add to your diet.  Veal is the meat from a young calf, as opposed to beef which comes from older cattle. The young veal meat can be produced from either sex of any breed; however, most of the meat comes from male calves of dairy cow breeds, which aren’t used for breeding. Generally speaking, veal is more expensive by weight than beef from older cattle.

The word, “veal,” comes from the French word “veau.” When veal meat was first made into a dish, only the Norman-French aristocracy of medieval England were privileged enough to eat it, which is why the French were entitled to name it. 

Veal is a popular meat, with approximately 450,000 calves raised for veal in the United States each year.

Veal can be prepared in a lot of different ways through various dishes, which is one of the reasons why it’s a good option for those looking to add it to their list of meats. Bu what does veal taste like? Well, it’s a tender meat with a delicate flavor.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the taste of veal!

What Does Veal Taste Like?

Since veal comes from a young calf, the muscles are underdeveloped, making the meat much more tender than beef. 

If you’re comparing veal with beef, veal has a more delicate and neutral flavor. When you think about eating veal, imagine eating beef but with a softer, less aggressive flavor. 

Odds are if you like beef, you’re going to like veal.

What’s the Texture of Veal Like?

Delicate in flavor, veal is also a pale grayish-white color. For its texture, it’s firm and fine-grained and feels velvety. 

Veal has no marbling, which means there are no white flecks of fat within the meat muscle. Marbling is often evaluated on the cut surface, and is most important in influencing the sensory attributes of flavor and juiciness, as well as a little bit of tenderness. 

With that being said, the small amount of fat there is on the veal is firm and white, making it a near-perfect cut of tender meat.

What Tastes Similar to Veal?

If you can’t get behind the idea of eating veal, or if you just can’t find it locally, there are some alternatives that will get the job done.

Pork

Although it comes from a completely different species, pork might be the most popular substitute. Pork meat is very similar to what authentic veal tastes like. It has a mild, yet interesting taste. It’s juicy and tender as well. 

Pork is also much cheaper than veal, and you can even get certain cuts that are closer to the veal taste; including pork loin, pork belly, pork loin chops, pork sirloin, and pork sirloin chops. 

Beef

Of course, if you want a similar product by species, beef is your better option. Beef and veal share similar nutrients, however, beef can taste and feel much more different than veal depending on the beef’s cut.  

If you do get a piece of beef that is tough and strong, you can cook it slowly until it resembles veal as much as possible. If you had to choose a beef cut to resemble veal, go with a sirloin or filet. 

Chicken or Turkey

These white meat options make for a great healthier alternative. Although a completely different species, these options can still work. Not as a cut, but when ground. For instance, taking ground turkey or ground chicken will make for a good ground veal substitute because of the texture and consistency. 

Mixed Ground Meat

Another viable option instead of ground veal is mixed ground meat. Ground-up meat no longer tastes as it would in its regular cut, so it’s easier to swap for taste. A 50/50 blend of pork and beef is a good ground meat combination.

The combination works because the pork maintains the tender texture of the veal while ground beef gives the “beefy” flavor. This mix will taste almost like you’re eating the real thing. 

Lamb Meat, Goat, or Ox

This is not the most common option in the United States, and can even be classified as second-class veal replacement. However, it gets the job done.

These meat cuts are usually less tender than veal and have a strong flavor that could overpower your taste buds. A tip to fix the flavor palette is using spicy ingredients. 

Is Veal Good for You?

You might be surprised to learn that veal has a lot of nutritional benefits. For starters, it is very lean, meaning it has a lot less fat.  Other benefits include:

Selenium

Helps to protect the system against free radicals that provoke cardiovascular diseases and cancers. 

Iron

A great source of energy and needed in red blood cells to transport oxygen.

Vitamins

Vitamin B12 to help energy, Vitamin D to help proper functioning of muscles and bone health, Vitamin B3 to help create sexual hormones, produce insulin and haemoglobin, and contribute to the creation of keratin, and Vitamin A to help prevent diseases such as breast cancer, cataracts, malaria, measles, and more. 

Phosphorus

A metalloid that is omnipresent in the system and helps bone metabolism, the neurological system, and energy.

Magnesium

This helps to fight depression and spasmophilia, prevents arrhythmia, and cardiovascular diseases as well as can lower fatigue.

Zinc

Zinc helps fight against the cold and flu, as well as helps with some digestive problems. 

How to Serve Veal

Veal can be cooked like a steak, where you can enjoy it from rare until well done. It’s all based on preference. As far as how the dish is prepared, there are several creative options:

Francese

The veal steak gets dipped into flour and egg wash and then fried and coated with a lemon butter sauce.

Piccata

Veal cutlet in this case is only dipped into flour before frying. It also contains a lemon butter sauce, but piccata adds capers to its sauce.

Parmesan

Take a veal cutlet and coat it with breadcrumbs and cheese, mostly parmesan and mozzarella. You’ll then smother it in a marinara sauce to make the dish extra Italian.

Veal Marsala

Pan-fry your veal meat in a mushroom sauce that uses Italian Marsala wine and sprinkle in some cooked mushrooms for an extra earthy flavor.

Stew

Start off by browning flour-coated veal chops and transferring them into a crockpot. Add potatoes, onions, and mushrooms then cover it all up in beef broth.

Meatballs

Take ground veal and roll it up into ball shapes, then cook them in a tomato sauce. You can add cream and spices for more flavors. Serve over pasta or make it a meatball sandwich.