Veal can be a controversial subject, and we know a lot of people don’t agree with it on ethical grounds.
However we have recently started selling Rosé Veal from Devon which is free-range and reared to very high welfare standards.
Veal is the meat from young cows, so is the beef equivalent of lamb, in comparison.
Much of the veal available in the UK in recent years has been ‘white’ veal, from the Netherlands. It’s so-called because of its pale colour – a result of the calves being fed solely on milk. They are kept in cramped conditions that would fall short of welfare standards in the UK.
In the UK dairy industry, female calves go on to be the next generation of milking cows, while the males have traditionally been surpass to requirements and would be shot while very young, often soon after birth.
However, we believe it is more ethical to rear the male calves and give them a decent life, before eventually using them to produce Rosé Veal.
Rosé Veal gets its name from its dark pink colour; not as dark as beef, but much darker than white veal.
Our veal comes from Weston’s Dairy farm in Tiverton, where the dairy herd of pedigree Jersey cattle have been farmed by the Weston family since 1904.
The calves are reared to very high welfare standards, and are farm-assured under the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb (FABBL) scheme. The farm has also been awarded the Good Calf Commendation by the Compassion in World Farming. This means that the calves are reared to a higher welfare standard than is required by law, which is really important to us, and very different from traditional veal production.
From 3 weeks of age the calves are reared outdoors during the summer months in groups of 24, and then brought indoors during the winter when the ground becomes wet. Whilst inside they are housed in smaller groups of 12, with plenty of space and bedded on straw, with grass silage to eat. They’re given a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients they need and they’re fed milk twice a day. This produces rose veal (pink meat), not the Dutch white veal which is created purposely by an unbalanced and deficient diet.
The calves are reared to the age of 6-8 months – the same age as many lambs. Then the meat is allowed to hang for two weeks before being portioned.
Rosé Veal has a delicate beef flavour and is really a great alternative to beef or lamb, and one which is ethically sound, too.
We have a selection of Rosé Veal cuts available to buy online including Escalopes and Osso Bucco, which is sliced veal shin.
5th March 2018