Veal has long been a hot topic among mindful diners, but now several Virginia farms have added nuance to the ongoing conversation by providing a more humane product.
The new, delicately named Rose Veal--which describes the calves' healthier, more nutritious pink meat--could refer as much to their happier lifestyle as to the rosy color. Tender cuts, including rib chops and leg roasts, have more texture and a deep, almost grassy flavor, due to the calves' time grazing and roaming pastures.
EcoFriendly Foods After years of avoiding veal, this purveyor of Virginia farm products offers what founder Bev Eggleston calls "the real-deal veal." His calves live with their mothers on pasture their whole lives, feeding on milk and grass for a fuller taste. EcoFriendly sells an array of cuts, including chops ($20 per pound) and stew meat ($12 per pound), but the thin rounds of scallopini ($20 per pound) are excellent after a quick turn in the skillet.
Home Farm Store At this Upperville farm, the humane-certified veal calves live and grow together on the pasture, drinking water and milk. The idyllic farm sells boneless shoulder roasts ($26), best with a simple herb rub, at both its farm store and online. At the farm's nearby tavern, Hunter's Head, the kitchen serves a mixed grill ($24) of Ayrshire rack and loin chops.