Looking for a mouthwatering recipe that doesn’t require much effort yet is impressive?? One that is perfect for an intimate evening for two, a dinner party or holiday meal? This recipe for The Best Grilled Veal Chops is one of those recipes that you will go back to again and again!
Veal chops are one of those cuts of meat that once you enjoyed one, you dream about the next one almost immediately! Face it; veal chops are incredibly delicious and so darn appealing. You honestly don’t have to do much to a veal chop; it shines all on its own! Just don’t overcook it, like I always say, you want to honor the meat and make sure you allow it to shine.
For this recipe, all I did was simply season the meat and grill it in a grill pan. You can also grill veal chops on an outdoor grill. I made a simple gremolata to top the chops with. It was pleasing to the eye and a fabulous flavor combination. Everyone raved!
Often you see veal chops on menus of Italian restaurants. Occasionally you see them as a special in other restaurants. When you do see veal chops on a menu they almost always sell out fast!
This post is in partnership with Veal Made Easy and the Beef Checkoff. Visit their website for a variety of amazing recipes as well as for up to date information on veal and veal farmers.
How Do I Cook Veal Chops?
Cooking Veal chops is easier than you may think. Treat it like you would a gorgeous ribeye. Season it simply, and then cook it to perfection! Typically I season a veal chop with a bit of garlic-infused oil, followed by a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper. For this recipe, I decided to marinate the chops first. For the marinade, I used grapeseed oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley, garlic paste, Thyme and Rosemary.
If veal is one of those foods you have yet to try or if you have preconceived notions about the veal industry as a whole, it’s time to take a second look. A lot has changed in the last couple of decades.
Let me take a minute and bust a few myths when it comes to veal.
Veal is nutritious, nutrient-rich meat which is more tender than beef, harvested from calves typically 22-24 weeks old, weighing 550-600 pounds. Veal calves, for the most part, are a byproduct of the dairy industry (dairy farmers sell male calves since they are in the business of producing milk which male cows cannot do). In my opinion, veal is delicious; it picks up the flavors used in its preparation.
HOW IS VEAL RAISED?
(Would you like an image of a light-filled barn here??)
First, let’s talk about how veal was raised in the ’70s and ’80’s. Back then American veal farmers had adopted the European way of raising their animals. That has completely changed beginning as far back as 20 years ago and continues to evolve with a focus on animal care and comfort.
Contrary to popular belief, today’s veal is raised in airy barns, full of light and fresh air. The calves have plenty of room to move about and buddies to play around with. Some farms I visited have outdoor access if the calves feel like going outside, they can. There are even some farmers that raise pasture-raised veal.
Practices such as castration, dehorning, and tail docking are not necessary in the raising of veal. Additionally, hormone implants are not permitted for use in veal production.
Where does the “veal is raised in tiny crates or tiny houses and they can’t move about for the duration of their lives” come from?
You do in fact see hutches when you drive by dairy farms, as well as some farm-fresh ice cream stands. Those hutches temporarily house “baby during the early weeks of their life.
Unlike humans, when a cow is born they are born with zero immunities. Human babies pick up immunity from their mother’s placenta, while cows do not SO for that reason during the first 6-8 weeks of their life both female dairy calves and male veal calves are housed in individual areas.
On veal farms, those individual areas may have a partition which after 6-8 weeks is removed. On many farms after that period, the veal calves are moved to larger group pens which house 15-30 calves and allow them plenty of room to move around. It comes down to the individual farmers and their way of caring for their animals.
To find more out about the three types of veal raised today, visit VealFarm.com.
Is Veal Healthy? Eat Better, Eat Veal
A 3-ounce serving of cooked trimmed lean veal is a good source of key nutrients including vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, selenium and choline. What’s more, a serving of lean veal has just 170 calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense protein foods around!
Typically the higher the protein in your meal, the longer you feel full. Mission accomplished with veal on the menu!
1 serving of lean veal has 27 grams of protein and JUST 170 calories. To get that much protein, it takes about…4 servings firm tofu (260 calories) OR 4-1/2 servings of almond butter (880 calories) OR 4-1/2 medium hard-boiled eggs (330 calories) OR 1-2/3 cups hummus (900 calories).
DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN IT COMES TO SUSTAINABILITY, THE VEAL INDUSTRY SHINES?
First, veal meat gives purpose to male dairy cows.
When veal is harvested, just about the whole animal is used. For example, heart sacks are used by hospitals to create life-saving heart valves. Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital is the largest customer when it comes to that. Bones are used for mineral supplements; collagen is used for plastic surgery, hides for leather goods and blood for medical testing (like strep testing).
Traceability is something most veal farmers pride themselves on.
The veal industry also has an amazing animal traceability program. They can trace each calf from the dairy farm they were born on all the way to the package of meat in the store or at the restaurant.
Farmers know where their calves come from, how much of their mother’s colostrum they received (important for the animals’ overall health), they know how much each calf gets to eat during their lifetime (and separate a slower-eating animal from a faster-eating animal if necessary so everyone is well fed).
Contrary to popular belief, chickens, turkeys, ducks and many pigs are harvested at younger ages than veal. Lamb can be the same age or a little older than veal and beef is the oldest to harvest of the common proteins.
I hope this educated you more than you were when it comes to modern-day veal farming. As always I am so very grateful for America’s farmers and all they do to provide my family and me with the foods we enjoy.
I hope you try this recipe for The BEST Grilled Veal Chops and love it!
If you have any questions about today’s veal industry, please ask. In 2019, I have visited a number of veal farms in multiple states. I have spent time with the people responsible for 70% of the veal production in the U.S., chatted with multiple vets, farmers and more. If I can’t answer your questions, I have access to those that can.
- 4 bone-in rib veal chops
- ½ cup olive oil
- 6 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 TBS garlic paste (or 3 large cloves of garlic minced)
- 1 TBS minced fresh Thyme
- 1 TBS minced fresh Rosemary
- Salt & pepper
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 cloves garlic (or 2 TBS garlic paste0
- 3 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of thinly sliced lemon peel
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Cut off any excess fat that may be on your chops.
- In a mixing bowl, combine, oil, lemon juice, garlic paste. Thyme, Rosemary and salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
- Coat each chop in the marinade and then allow them to sit in it in either the bowl or a plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook the chops, remove from marinade and discard marinade. Pat chops dry with a paper towel.
- Season chops with a bot more salt and pepper and grill over high or med-high heat via your outdoor grill or grill pan for approximately 7-9 minutes per side (cook time will vary on the thickness of your chops).
- The internal temperature of your chops should reach 140-145 degrees, allow your chops to rest for at least 5 minutes before enjoying.
- Serve with Gremolata or enjoy as is.
- To Make Gremolata:
- Combine all ingredients in your food processor (smaller bowl works best) and pulse until combined. I enjoy a wetter gremolata, if you enjoy a drier one, use a bit less olive oil.