British Rose Veal may not be something that every meat lover considers when carrying out the weekly shop or planning their meal prep for the days ahead. But there’s good reason to give this delicious bull cut a chance. After all, it’s flavoursome, nutrient-rich, and surprisingly versatile.
Veal was once a much-criticised meat in the UK because it involved the fattening of young cows in crates – compromising quality of life for livestock and following questionable ethical practices. Importantly, the use of crates was outlawed in the 1990s and today’s “rose veal” relates to young bulls that are born on dairy farms but have no value to the farmer, for obvious reasons. As a by-product of calving mothers, the solution is to rear these animals on small farms for their meat. Crucially, they are given the same excellent quality of life as any other free-range source of beef.
Where veal was once a frowned upon word, today the use of this nutritious and valuable meat is endorsed by everyone from Jamie Oliver to Janet Street Porter.
In 2021 there are a number of farms around the UK rearing high quality milk-fed British Rose Veal, including those supplying meat delivery services like the Dorset Meat Company.
British Rose Veal is an attractive pink colour, which reflects the young bull’s active lifestyle and varied diet. Once upon a time, veal was known for being rather pale and bland in flavour as a result of being produced by animals suffering from iron deficiency. This, however, is no longer the case with responsibly sourced meat from ethical farms. Rose veal is in fact, a surprisingly lean meat that is highly nutritious! This means that it cannot be dry aged in the same way as many other cuts. Therefore it is hung up for just five days before being prepared by a butcher.
Typically it has a lighter beefy flavour than other steaks and its tenderness makes it suitable for a broad range of different meal types. As a low-fat all-rounder it can be thrown on the BBQ or just as easily used in a pot roast.
Wondering how to cook it?
Simply season the veal to your preference and pan sear both sides of your steak on a high heat for approximately 2–3 minutes, depending on the thickness. As rose veal is a young beef, you can eat it as rare or as well done as you would like. We’d recommend serving your rose veal with roasted cubed potatoes, seasoned with crushed garlic, olive oil and rosemary.
For vegetables, the world is your oyster! Why not opt for some steamed tender-stem broccoli, and some creamy mushrooms made in the pan after the steak.
Veal is good for your health
We’ve already covered the leanness of modern veal and hinted at its nutrition value. But what’s actually in veal that we would consider good for our health?
Selenium – this often-underappreciated nutrient plays a critical role in protecting against cancers and cardiovascular disease.
Iron – iron is needed in the body to transport oxygen through the red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 – this well-documented vitamin is integral to maintaining our energy levels and supporting the reproduction of red blood cells.
Phosphorus – plays a role in bone metabolism and helps the neurological system to function properly.
Magnesium – it might not sound like a nutrient we want in the body but magnesium performs a host of roles, including protection against cardiovascular disease, combating fatigue and even fighting depression.
So, next time you look to place an order online for your next box of meat, don’t be shy about giving rose veal a try. It might just become your new favourite weekly cut.