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Finding veal cuts in Canadian supermarkets has often been difficult, but there's a movement afoot to alter this, says a spokesman for producers of the tender meat.
“Veal was traditionally a product you would see in specialty butcher shops or in independent retailers, but now it's starting to show up more in some major chain stores,” says Bill Collier, a retail and consumer meat marketing specialist from Cambridge, Ont.
One of the reasons he believes veal is gaining in popularity is because it is lower in fat than beef and its prime cuts are very tender.
“It is very similar to beef in that the middle meats or the loin and prime rib is going to be very tender and it lends itself to dry roasting and grilling,” he says. “The less tender cuts, such as shoulder, (are) better off braised or roasted with moisture such as in a stew or pot roast.”
Because of its tie-in with the dairy industry, which is predominantly located in Quebec and Ontario, most of the veal production is centred in those two provinces, says Jennifer Haley, executive director of the Ontario Veal Association, based in Guelph, Ont.
“Consequently we serve pretty much of the entire Canadian marketplace,” she says. “There is some imported from the United States and Australia but in smaller amounts.”
She says that between Quebec and Ontario there are close to 1,000 veal producers.
Collier says the beauty of veal is its mild flavour, which doesn't overpower a meal. ``Cooks can add all sorts of ingredients, seasonings, stuffings and side dishes.”
He adds that more restaurants are featuring veal on their menus.
“I think this is because they want to differentiate themselves from the competition and veal is a good option because there are a lot of ways it can be prepared.”
Grilled Veal Tenderloin With Bacon Mustard Sauce (Serves 4)
Makes 4 servings.