I was on a tremendous Italian cooking course at Seasoned recently, and Jenny Chandler, our fantastic chef tutor, cooked Saltimbocca with us. It’s one of my all-time favourite dishes, but I rarely order it unless the restaurant can tell me that they are definitely using British rose veal.
I once asked in a restaurant in Penarth where the veal was from, and the answer was where did I want it to be from? Which rather suggested to me that they had no idea why I was asking the question. Or I certainly wasn’t going to like the answer.
I had the risotto instead.
Jenny was talking about the reason why it was important to eat British veal, to stop bull calves from being pretty much slaughtered at birth. Now, that much I knew.
What I don’t think many of us, including Jenny, knew was that this situation is changing. One of the ladies on the course was a dairy farmer and said that these days they use sexed semen, which is 98% accurate apparently. So we could go from oversupply to choiceful supply within the next few years.
Why choose British rose veal?
I think if we’re going to choose to eat meat, and also to drink milk and eat cheese, then we should be concerned with all the animals in the supply chain. I love to cook with British veal, and will definitely now be cooking more with it. Ask your local butcher if they can get British veal for you, it’s such a versatile meat, as well as being a lean meat.
As well as saltimbocca I love to cook Osso Bucco and schnitzel, occasionally going for the full cordon bleu. It can replace pork in lots of dishes and is a great meat for a quick dinner. What about you? Is it on the menu in your house? And what would it take you to try it?
If you don’t have a local butcher who can get it for you, then I would try Graig Farm who I’ve had great meat from over the years.