Veal comes from a young calf that is usually around 17 or 18 weeks old. The meat is prized for its light color and tenderness, and it is typically more expensive than other cuts of beef. The veal loin comes from the area around the center of the calf’s back and is one of the major cuts made from a veal carcass. The shoulder and rib are among the other six main cuts, and all seven can be further divided into retail cuts such as chops and steaks.
A very pale pink to pinkish-gray veal loin is ideal. A veal calf has never eaten grass or hay, and its diet is often restricted to milk or milk substitute, which gives the meat its color. This is especially true of the very young calves, but in some cases older ones may have been fed grain along with milk in order to help them to grow more quickly.
Another important feature of a veal loin is tenderness. Due to the calf’s young age at the time of slaughter, the meat is usually quite tender. Veal calves are frequently confined to small, individual pens that restrict how much each calf can move. This prevents muscle tissue from developing, making the meat of a veal calf far more tender than that of a calf allowed to run and play.
One of the most common criticisms of the veal industry is the confinement of veal calves. Many people believe that confining young animals to the point where they are unable to move around freely is cruel. These calves are also rarely, if ever, exposed to sunlight and are never exposed to any type of open field. For these and other reasons, animal rights activists frequently criticize the veal industry. Modern veal calves, on the other hand, are usually kept in clean pens with plenty of space to move around and lie down comfortably.
A veal loin is commonly cut into chops, steaks, and roasts. Chops are frequently pan-fried, grilled, or broiled, while roasts are slowly cooked in the oven until thoroughly heated. To avoid bacterial contamination, veal loin should be handled like any other meat. To avoid pathogen growth, keep leftovers refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after the meal.