Veal is not a typical kind of meat you’ll find in traditional Greek cuisine. However, this extremely nutritious meat in modern times became a delicacy in Europe. Naturally, it became popular in Greece too! Especially for stews and gourmet variations of famous Greek Stifado. Dishes made with this meat are mostly associated with the Italian and French cuisine, as well as with Central European cuisine such as German, Swiss, Hungarian and Czech. Specifically, the way to prepare veal should correspond to the meat itself, which means light and gentle.
How is veal different from beef?
Veal is the meat of calves, in opposite to the beef which comes from older cattle. The meat can be produced from a calf of either sex, aged from three weeks to six months. Nevertheless, the majority of veal comes from young males who are not utilised for breeding. When buying veal, it is important to choose the part of the meat that suits the way of preparing the meal. You can learn more about choosing the right part of veal for specific preparation in this LINK. Veal meat has gentle consistency and fine structure. Interestingly, veal has white solid internal fat deposits which is excellent for the Keto diet. Bone tissues are soft and gentle, ideal for bone broth.
History and fame
Cows and calves were domesticated before 4000 g in Greece (where else?). At that time, muscle portions and organ meat such as liver were widely consumed. In Italy, France, Austria and Germany, the veal is considered as a delicacy. Fegato Alla Veneziana is one of the most famous dishes from the culinary history of Venice. In the Jewish culinary tradition, the veal liver is an important ingredient. Today, the types of calves are divided according to diet on those fed with milk and those that have been grass or grain-fed. Milk feed veal has lighter meat than grain-fed but could be quite expensive in the western countries.
Energy and nutritional value
The energy value of 100 g of raw veal is 117 kcal / 490 kJ. Of this, 21%is protein and 5% fat. (If you are lucky to find grass-fed). This meat is an excellent source of zinc (2.3 mg which makes up 23% of RDA), phosphorus (208; 26% of RDA) and a good source of selenium (9 mg; 16% of RDA) and copper (0.11 mg; 11% RDA). Meat, in general, is a rich source of B complexes vitamines, while veal is a great source of niacin (9.4 mg; 59% of RDA), vitamin B12 (1 μg; 43% of RDA), vitamin B6 (0.46 mg; 27% RDA), pantothenic acid (1.1 mg; 21% RDA) and riboflavin (0.3 mg; 23% RDA). The content of cholesterol is 78 mg per 100 g of meat.
Health benefits of Veal
Experts recommend meat as an integral part of a balanced meal because it contains the highest protein in relation to the other food. Of course, on Keto, we want to accompany those proteins with good fats! Veal contains high-quality proteins that contain essential amino acids, making it easy to digest. The protein is used for growth, building and healing of numerous tissues such as bone, connective tissue, skin, internal organs and blood. However, as a Ketonian, you know that we always add some good grass-fed butter, lard, olive oil or coconut oil to our meat dishes.
Almost the best meat available to modern humans
This meat is an excellent source of zinc which is involved in regulating many genetic activities, blood sugar levels, and the rate of creation and use of energy, ie. metabolic processes. It is also a good source of copper, an essential element of many enzymes. Copper participates in physiological reactions such as removing harmful free radicals, developing bone and connective tissue, producing pigmentation of skin and hair. The selenium found in this meat prevents all the harmful effects of oxygen, ie. oxidative stress. This process is accomplished with a combination of vitamin E, vitamin C, niacin and glutathione. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B complexes involved in the production of red blood cells: Furthermore, it plays an important role in energy production.
Keto Veal Stew
- 800 g (30 oz) short veal rib chops milk-fed (if you cannot find it, grass-fed will be fine)
- 100 g (1/2 cup) butter grass fed
- 6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium tomato organic
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium onion yellow variety for fewer carbs
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cinnamon organic
- 1 tsp red paprika powder organic, mild
- 1 tsp dried mint organic
- 1 tsp dried basil organic
- 1 tsp sea salt Mediterranean
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) water filtered
- 1/2 tsp turmeric organic
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
When buying the veal ribs, ask the butcher to chop them into very small pieces.
Melt the butter with olive oil in a deep pot and add the veal. Sauté the meat for 5 minutes and stir with a wooden spoon.
Add 100 ml of water and cover the pot. In the meantime chop all the vegetables and add them to the pot. Reduce the heat.
Add salt, mint, basil, cinnamon and red paprika powder. Stir and cover. Cook for 40 minutes at a very low temperature. Occasionally stir.
In the end, add black pepper and turmeric and stir. Serve with freshly grated parmesan or aged yellow cheese of your choice.