About Veal

Recipes: Veal Breast Roll and Herbed Veal Roast

Purchasing Veal

A number of veal cuts are readily available in today's marketplace. The most popular ones include: loin chops, rib chops, cutlets, veal for stew, ground veal, arm steaks, blade steaks, shanks, breast and roasts such as rib, rump and shoulder.

While it's true that some veal cuts are more expensive than others, it's a good idea to look at cost per serving when purchasing veal. Most veal cuts have very little waste. In fact, a pound of boneless veal can yield three to four (3-ounce) cooked servings.

To determine cost per serving, first look at the number of servings per pound. Cuts that contain more bone and/or fat naturally yield fewer servings per pound. (See chart below to determine the number of servings per pound from various cuts.) Determine cost per serving by dividing the price per pound by the number of servings per pound.

Example: Veal leg cutlets cost $8.99 per pound; you can expect four servings from a pound of ground veal. $8.99 / 4 = $2.25 per serving.

Cut Serves
Boneless (cutlets, ground veal, boneless roasts, veal for stew)  3 to 4
Bone-In (rib/loin chops, arm/blade steaks)  2 to 3
Very Bony (shanks, riblets)  1 to 1-1/2

Selection and Storage Tips

  • Look for veal with a fine grain and creamy pink color; any fat covering should be milky white.
  • At the market, packages should be securely wrapped with no signs of leakage. Packages should be cold to the touch, without any tears or punctures. Check the sell-by date; purchase only on or before that date.
  • Pick up veal last when shopping to ensure that it stays cold. After purchase veal should be promptly and properly stored in the meat compartment or in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
  • Unopened prepackaged veal may be refrigerated 1 to 2 days after purchase.
  • For longer storage, freeze veal in its original wrapping up to 2 weeks at 0 degrees F or lower. For longer freezer storage (6 to 9 months), wrap veal in a moisture/vapor proof material such as aluminum foil, heavy duty plastic wrap or polyethylene film. Or, place veal in food-safe plastic freezer storage bags; squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Store ground veal no longer than 3 months. For convenience, leave roasts whole; place smaller cuts such as chops or ground veal patties in meal-size packages.
  • Leftover cooked veal should be wrapped or covered and refrigerated within an hour after cooking. Refrigerate up to 3 days; tightly wrapped, it can be frozen up to 3 months.
  • Defrost veal in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Allow 4 to 7 hours per pound for a large roast, 3 to 5 hours per pound for a smaller roast; 12 hours for 1-inch thick chops. Gauge time for defrosting ground veal by the package thickness.


Veal is a naturally lean meat. On the average, a three-ounce cooked, trimmed serving has 166 calories, 5.6 grams of total fat, 1.6 grams of saturated fat and 100 milligrams of cholesterol. Veal is also a nutritional bargain, providing significant amounts of several important nutrients compared to the calories it contains. The chart below illustrates veal's nutritional profile.

Veal's Nutritional Profile—Per Three-Ounce Cooled, Trimmed Serving*

Nutrition Information Per Cooked, Trimmed Serving
Percent of Standard For Recommended Dietary Intake
Calories**—1 668%
Total Fat**—5.6g8%

* Composite of all retail cuts

** Based on standards of comparison 2 000 calories per day is the midpoint of the recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences for women ages 23-51. The National Academy of Sciences also recommends a maximum of 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day. The American Heart Association recommends not more than 30 percent of calories from fat and no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.

+ Based on percent of U.S. Recommend Daily Allowances. Data based on USDA Handbook 8-17 1989.


Veal Breast Roll with Olive-Mushroom Filling

Veal Breast Roll with Olive-Mushroom Filling

A traditional boneless veal breast is updated with a savory filling of mushrooms, bell pepper and California ripe olives. Lightly browning the rolled veal breast provides rich flavor to the cooking liquid. This cut needs the slow, moist heat of braising for tenderization. Add just a small amount of liquid and keep the pan tightly covered during simmering.

Total preparation and cooking time: approx. 2 hours


  • 2-1/2 to 3-pound boneless veal breast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked pasta (such as bow tie or spiral)
Olive-Mushroom Filling
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup drained, chopped California ripe olives (4-1/4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed


In Dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in olives and rosemary. Remove from heat; cool.

Unroll veal breast; trim fat. Spread filling over veal, leaving 3/4-inch border. Starting at short end, roll up jelly-roll fashion; tie with string.

In same pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add veal; brown evenly. Pour off drippings. Add Marsala and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer l-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until tender. Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions; keep warm.

Remove veal from pan. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally. Remove string. Carve veal into slices; serve over pasta with sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Cook's Tip: To prepare in oven, use covered, ovenproof skillet or roasting pan and cook in 325 degree oven after adding Marsala and water. Cook 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until veal is tender. Prepare sauce as directed above.

Nutrient data per serving: 302 calories; 29 g protein; 10 g fat; 22 g carbohydrate; 2.7 mg iron; 205 mg sodium; 94 mg cholesterol.


Herbed Veal Roast with Apricot-Thyme Chutney

Herbed Veal Roast with Apricot-Thyme Chutney

Tender, succulent veal rib roast makes a stunning presentation for any occasion. For fool proof results, place the roast in a shallow roasting pan and cook it uncovered without the addition of liquid or fat, to medium doneness. A tangy-sweet apricot and onion chutney simmers on the stove top while the veal roasts in the oven.

Total preparation and cooking time: approx. 2 hours


  • 4 to 5-pound veal rib roast (cap removed)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Apricot-Thyme Chutney
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 package (6 ounces) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup ready-to-serve chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


Combine sage, garlic and pepper; press evenly onto veal roast. Place veal, rib ends down, in shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part, not touching bone or fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 325 degree oven to desired doneness; approx. 22 to 27 minutes per pound for medium. (Do not overcook.)

Meanwhile heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add onions; cook slowly 15 to 20 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining chutney ingredients. Cover tightly; simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until apricots are soft, stirring occasionally.

Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Let stand 15 minutes. (Roasts will continue to rise approx. 5 degrees to reach 160 degrees for medium.)

Carve roast between bones into thick slices; serve with chutney.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Cook's Tip: Ask meat retailer to loosen the chine bone (back bone). After roasting, the back bone can be removed easily by running a knife along the edge of the roast.

Nutrient data per serving: 240 calories; 24 g protein; 8 g fat; 78 g carbohydrate; 2.2 mg iron; 183 mg sodium; 98 mg cholesterol.


Provided by Beef Board and Veal Committee/Beef Industry Council


This page originally published as a FoodDay article (circa 1997).

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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