Tag Archives: veal

Veal

My veal in the shop

Tonight, I had something I haven’t had for over twenty five years.
I had the biggest, meatiest rosè veal chop that was so delicious I nearly wept.

For various reasons, I visited the Waterloo Cottage Farm Shop in Great Oxendon, Leicestershire and, having thoroughly inspected their delightful premises, I caught sight of several cuts of delicious looking meat in the display counter.  ‘What’s that?’ I asked and was told that it was rosè veal.

My veal chop

The reason it has been so long since I ate veal is that I found the practice of crating calves for veal repugnant and never ate it again.  The animals sourced for Waterloo Cottage Farm’s veal live outside with their mothers, eating a natural diet of grass, silage, cereals and roots and live a happy, healthy life until they are taken for slaughter.

My cooked veal chop

I cooked the chop, which was on the bone, in a frying pan with a tiny bit of oil and black pepper on a medium heat and ate it with new potatoes and peas.  The meat was so tender that my knife simply drifted through it and it was sweet and succulent to taste.  I like meat very rare, so it was slightly pink in the middle, which made it even juicier.  It was a heck of a chop and was actually slightly too much for me, but I couldn’t bear to leave a scrap of meat on my plate – perfect size for a chap though.

The downside was the cost; although it was undoubtedly a big chop, it cost £4.00, so would have to be a treat.  But what a treat.

I’ve said this before and I will keep saying it over and over again.  Good food costs money.  Decently reared, properly fed, happy animals produce meat of a quality that has been forgotten.  Good meat costs more but I reckon you don’t need as much to fill you up.

Eat less, eat better.  Learn about meat and how to make the most of it; ask your butcher about different cuts.  Find out who your local producers are and support them.  Use farm shops.  This is how the price of really good meat will come down a bit and you will be stimulating local economies and encouraging the high welfare and sustainable husbandry of old breeds.  As an additional pleasure, many of these small farms encourage their customers to visit the animals which is a crucial part of learning to respect the food on our plates.

Try a bit of rosè veal and give yourself a treat.

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Filed under Environment, Ethics, Food, Slider

Oxford Sausages or Regional Snorkers Part 1

An inadequate Google image I’m afraid, but you get the drift

I love sausages of all kinds and they really do come in all shapes and sizes.  Different regions have their own specialities and the recipes often develop from ways of using up leftovers or utilising cheap cuts of meat.

Today’s recipe and its accompaniment are from Oxfordshire.  Oxford Sausages traditionally contain pork and veal, although the veal has latterly been replaced with lamb.  Once upon a time I would have agreed with this substitute, as the practice of veal crating was utterly abhorrent.  Nowadays, however, many British dairy farmers are keeping the male calves, which would previously been slaughtered, to produce very high quality, high welfare and very delicious rosé veal. 

References to the “Oxford” style of sausage date back to at least the early 18th century, but it was more widely popularised by its inclusion in Mrs Bloody Beeton’s Unspeakable Book of Household Management in 1861.  I am not a fan.  However, with the rise of mass food production the Oxford sausage fell out of favour, as did many regional foodstuffs. The modern enthusiasm for local food has resulted in the Oxford Sausage being revived, albeit often in revised form.

OXFORD SAUSAGES 

Utensils:
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x grater
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen roll for absorbing excess oil
1 x lemon squeezer
Blender or a stick blender

Ingredients
:
1 lb / 480g ground/minced pork
1 lb / 480g ground/minced veal or lamb
12 oz /360g shredded suet
1 mugful fresh breadcrumbs
Rind of 1 or 2 lemons – finely grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped, mixed herbs or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp fresh chopped sage
salt and black pepper
a little flour for coating
a little lard, goose fat (ideally), or oil for frying , but if you use butter always add a drop of oil to stop it burning

Method:
Mix the meats, suet, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, nutmeg and herbs in a bowl – use your hands, get in there!
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Lightly flour your the worktop and your hands and form the mix into sausage shapes
Coat each sausage with flour and shape into a C
Heat the fat in the frying pan until it is quite hot (a drop of water should fizz but not scar you for life)
Fry for about 8 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through
Blot with the kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil

Oxford Sauce

Ingredients:
1/2 pint / 300ml Port
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp Oxford Marmalade (Frank Cooper’s ideally but any rich marmalade will do)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp cooked shallots
1 tsp mustard
cayenne pepper (to taste)
ground ginger (to taste)

Method:
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender

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Filed under Food, Recipes, Regional