Thanks to our friends at Beef Checkoff for sponsoring this Crispy Veal with Lemon and Arugula… It’s an easy recipe but is also quite fancy and perfect for having friends over! Veal cutlets lightly breaded in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, served over a simple leafy green Arugula salad with capers, chopped hard boiled eggs, lemon and olive oil – it’s so delicious!
Where does veal come from?
Recently I toured some veal farms in the Northeast US with several other food bloggers and veal providers. I learned so much about veal farming, animal health, and the careful procedures that are followed to provide us with the most delicious and healthy products.
There’s so much that has evolved in the world of veal farming, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you today.
Did you know veal is a very nutritious protein, full of vitamin B12, zinc, niacin and iron? It also has low levels of sodium, and is rich in essential nutrients like riboflavin and phosphorous, which makes this an excellent protein to add to your healthy eating plan.
There are many misconceptions about the treatment of veal calves. Most people don’t know this, but veal calves are actually given excellent treatment.
There are so many regulations and quality initiatives in place to ensure that veal farming meets the highest standards: from sourcing the healthiest calves, to creating the best living environment for the animals, to collaborating with animal technicians, veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure natural and healthy development of the calves.
Think about it… why would a farmer sabotage their livelihood by cutting corners or mistreating their investment, and take the chance of losing the money they’ve put into raising these animals?
Plain and simple… they wouldn’t and don’t.
Allow me to elaborate…
- There are two types of cows: dairy cows that provide milk, and other cows that provide beef.
- Male dairy cows cannot produce milk so they are of little to no value to a dairy farmer, and generally not used to produce beef. So, they are raised as veal calves. Only a very select few of all the male (bull) calves born are used for breeding stock.
- Approximately 50% of all dairy calves born are female calves… These heifers will eventually be used by the dairy producer to replace older cows for milking purposes.
- Most times dairy producers will sell the bull calves to be raised for beef or veal. Therefore, bull calves can be used by the veal industry to create a quality food product.
This is sustainability in action my friend: finding productive ways to use what we have, and not wasting it. #winning
Let’s talk about my trip to the veal farms and all the rich information I gleaned. I have to tell you these calves were treated very humanely! Allow me to share some really interesting, “ReVealing” facts I learned while visiting these veal farms.
- Female cows need to give birth to 1 calf per year to keep their milk supply flowing.
- Female offspring continue as dairy cows, and the male (bull) calves are raised to become veal or beef for consumption.
- New calves are all given an iron shot when they arrive at the veal farm to prevent anemia.
- Calves enjoy a diet of milk with a combo of grains as their starter feed. These well fed veal calves also get probiotics and vitamins in their milk.
- The only time calves are given therapeutic doses of antibiotics is when they are sick – just like you and me.
- Calves can drink water or eat whenever they want. The farmers we met call this “free choice feed and water.”
- The veal calves I saw even had their own nutritionist in addition to their veterinarian - pretty swanky, huh!??
- The calves stand on rubber-coated grates. The 1-inch rubber coating makes the calves more comfortable, and the open grates allow any waste and debris to fall below into an area that drains and collects the waste for repurposing.
- Care and comfort of the calves is the utmost concern. The calves are provided with indoor ventilated barns with lots of windows and sunlight, and a dry clean place to rest.
10. There are several types of stalls or holding areas (without any tethers) for the calves that provide spacious communal housing for them to interact:
- “Baby Barns” are single stalls which are for the very young calves and actually allow them to interact with their next door neighbors, but also to rest without being disturbed. These separate stalls also ensure each calf is getting his own food supply. Straw bedding lines the bottom of these stalls to provide heat and comfort.
- After eight to ten weeks, calves are in “Shared Stalls” that house two or more calves and allow room for both to share a stall. They are able to feed and drink when desired.
- There are also “Group Pens,” which the calves can be housed in. It’s an open stall environment where 10-15 calves are all together in an open area that allows them space to roam indoors and outdoors at their leisure. They enjoy the same “free choice feed and water” as the others.
11. The calves reach 500-600 pounds before they are processed. That’s actually pretty big!
12. Not all cows have the same temperament: Beef cows are very maternal in nature, and very protective of their calves. Dairy cows are more interested in being milked after their calves are born, and less interested in raising their offspring.
I’m sure this is a lot to take in about dairy (bull) calves and veal production. But you know I like to make sure you have the most current and relevant information when it comes to your food.
Hungry for more? You can learn more about veal calves and the farmers who raise them on the Veal Farm website.
I’m just over here researching, creating recipes, and working hard for you my friend! You’re so welcome!!
There are so many different cuts of veal available that are easy to prepare. You basically treat veal like you would beef, and you can enjoy it at your desired doneness and temperature (the USDA recommends 145 degrees for whole cuts and 160 degrees for ground veal.)
Some popular cuts of veal meat:
- Veal Chops and Loins make for a delicious steak that can be breaded, marinated, or grilled. Or consider using it for stir fry, sautéing or stewing.
- Ground Veal makes delicious meatballs, meatloaf, burgers or tacos.
- Veal Cutlets are a tender and delicious cut that is perfect for Veal Marsala, Milanese, schnitzel, picatta, caprese, scallopini… the options go on and on.
- Veal Shanks (also referred to as “Osso Bucco”) is my personal favorite cut. It is braised for hours in a hearty wine, broth and veggie sauce. It becomes the most delicious and fall-apart tender meal ever!! Lucky for you, I just so happen to have an amazing recipe for it here: Veal Osso Buco.
Today we’re lightly breading and sautéing some veal cutlets for the most delicious and tender, Crispy Veal Cutlets with Capers, Lemon and Chopped Eggs over Arugula - I love that peppery flavor!
Get ready for the best thing you’ve tasted - ever!
How to make crispy veal cutlets
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. (This will keep the cooked cutlets warm while you’re pan-frying the rest.)
Lay the veal cutlets out and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the sage, parsley, salt and pepper over both sides of the veal cutlets.
Use three shallow bowls and add flour in one, the eggs in another, and breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess,
then dip in the beaten eggs to coat.
Next, drop into breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides and press to adhere.
Add oil to a heavy large skillet to measure ¼ inch deep, and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook cutlets until browned and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
To serve… Mix the arugula with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, and a pinch of salt. Mound arugula mixture onto plates and sprinkle with chopped eggs and tomatoes. Divide the cutlets among 6 plates. Sprinkle capers and serve with lemon wedges and more parmesan if you’d like.
This meal is actually quite simple but soo delicious! I know you’re going to enjoy it as much as I do.
I hope you’ve been enlightened today with the new practices in place for veal farming. And I hope you’ll spread the word and of course enjoy this healthy and delicious protein as often as possible.
You can find veal in the butcher or meat sections at Publix, Winn Dixie, Safeway or your local grocery store. Some popular brands to look for are… Catelli Brothers, Midwest Veal supplied by Strauss, Mountain States Rosen, or Marcho Farms.
#beefcheckoff #vealfarm #vealmadeeasy
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1-2 teaspoons salt, plus 1 large pinch
- ½ to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to ½ pounds veal cutlets
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 1¼ cups breadcrumbs, (See note for gluten-free & low-carb options)
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more for garnish
- Canola Oil
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 lemons cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Line a baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sprinkle the sage, parsley , salt and pepper over both sides of the veal cutlets.
- Use three shallow bowls and add flour in one, eggs in another and another the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
- Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg to coat. Drop into breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides and press to adhere.
- Add Canola oil to a large skillet to measure depth of ¼ inch, and heat over medium-high heat. Work in batches, cook cutlets until browned and cooked through, about 2 -3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm.
- To serve… Mix arugula with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, cherry tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Mound arugula mixture onto plates and sprinkle with chopped eggs. Divide the cutlets among 6 plates. Sprinkle capers and serve with lemon wedges and parmesan.
- This meal is so easy to make gluten-free since gluten-free bread crumbs are readily available. You can find them in the grocery store right next to the other breadcrumb options.
- Also, make this meal low-carb by swapping out crushed pork rinds or almond meal for the breadcrumbs.
Serving Size4 ounce cutlet with arugula salad
Amount Per Serving Calories 452Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 6gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 306mgSodium 1008mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 41g