Vitellone / Veal

This week’s Vitellone Beef is: Jersey      Sourced from: Bampton, Devon

Veal /veel/ noun. 1. the flesh of young bovine animals, esp. the cow, when killed for eating. 2 beef (up). to strengthen, reinforce verb.

“It must be remembered that veal is an immensely useful, indeed almost essential ingredient in good cookery”   Elizabeth David – French provincial Cooking 1960

What is Vitellone Beef? Vitellone is popular in Italy, older than veal (vitello) but not old enough to be “dry aged” (adulto). It comes from Jersey male animals between 9 months to a year old. It is older than veal and has been reared using a conventional beef system.

Why? In order to produce milk a cow needs to calve. The males are not required and often young ones are regarded as waste. The shape of a dairy beast doesn’t lend itself easily to making good beef, but with careful butchery it is possible to create wonderful meat ideas.

What is the difference from veal? Veal calves are predominantly milk fed, killed at around 5 or 6 months old and are not generally given access to outside grazing. Vitellone Beef is different. It is produced from older animals – around a year old; they have milk to start and are then fed silage, barley & rape and grass. During the winter they are kept in small groups in airy sheds with deep straw beds, and during the summer go out into the fields to graze on pasture.

Vitellone Beef is hung for around 10 days.  The meat has a deeper colour than veal, but it still has very little fat and is very tender. Our Jersey Vitellone beef has a delicate flavour that we think puts it in a class of its own.

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