Grilled Veal chops are what you should be cooking next!
Veal resting on cutting board before serving
Grilled veal chops aren't something I normally tend to go searching for in the supermarket. Many people have enjoyed veal but aren't really sure how to cook it.
How long do you grill veal?
Veal is young and tender meat. Due to its lighter color people often forget that it's beef and most cuts should be cooked quickly.
Typically two to three minutes per side will suffice when cooking most cuts of veal.
Pick an internal temperature so the meat is warm and cooked, but not overdone. 135F is always a safe bet with veal steaks that are about an inch thick.
Should you soak veal in milk?
Although you can soak veal in milk, it's typically not necessary for today's veal.
When grilled, veal has a natural sweetness that is unique and delicious with almost a hint of brown sugar.
One of the most simple and delicious preparations is done with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. I like to use a simple wet seasoning mixture of equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. About ¼ cup of each works fine. You can simply dip the veal in the mixture in a shallow dish and turn to coat a few times before cooking.
Why is my veal tough?
Simply put, If your veal is tough you need to adjust how long it cooks. Tender cuts like cutlets and steaks will become tough if cooked much past medium-well. On the other hand, harder working muscles like the veal shank, or Osso Bucco are often underdone when they are chewy and tough. Harder working muscles need to cook slowly over a longer period of time to become tender.
Since veal has a very mild flavor, I am excited for it to be grilled over hardwood lump charcoal, the preferred fuel for a Big Green Egg or Kamado grill. It's important to use a good quality hardwood lump charcoal. I've had great success using Jealous Devil Charcoal and it's perfect for this dish.
I can be squeamish about trying new things. Fortunately, some of the cuts of meat I've historically shied away from are now my favorite things to grill.
These veal chops are different than what I've normally seen.
The fresh veal I typically see is cutlets. Thin slices of meat. Often perfect for breading and quickly frying in a pan. Cutlets are so good when served with lemon or a simple pan sauce.
Recently I was given an opportunity to try what looked like petite porterhouse veal chops from Cedar Springs Veal. The mature side of me knows this is not the pre-breaded, pre-packaged veal cutlets of my childhood.
After doing my research, I am assured that today's veal is humanely raised and Cedar Springs Veal is spearheading that effort.
For starters, this veal was beautifully packaged. It came vacuum-sealed with durable packaging completely frozen as promised. This is impressive! It encourages me to treat this delicate meat with respect.
The chops were a perfect serving size each for an intimate outdoor gathering. I wanted to balance the delicate, versatile feel of the chops with just a few herbs and spices to complement the flavor of the meat.
Seasoning simply is more than sufficient
A simple sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each side of the veal chops seems sufficient. I adorned each of them with a few citrus ribbons too. Earlier, I combined lemon, lime, and blood orange zest with parsley and grass-fed butter to create compound butter, which melts on the chops as they grill over all-natural hardwood lump charcoal.
The citrus zest performs as anticipated. It releases fragrant, tart oils during the grilling process to perfume the meat without being overpowering.
Normally when cooking thick steaks or chops I use the reverse sear method to achieve my desired doneness.
The chops are thin so I grill them hot and fast over direct heat at about 400F. Taking extra care to make sure the veal chops retained as many of the natural juices as possible, I cooked them rather quickly. Grilling just three to four minutes per side, and these veal chops now have a beautiful color. As a side, I grill a few thin slices of blood orange and serve them as an edible garnish with wonderful color.
The veal chops were very juicy and the meat had an extremely elegant flavor for their size. An absolutely incomparable taste. The meat on these veal chops had a sweetness, leaving me satisfied with every bite. This citrus-parsley butter topping is well balanced and flavorful. I'm excited to try this on other cuts in the future.
The veal of my childhood is a thing of the past. Today's veal is good for you. These veal chops are a pleasure to grill. It's a pleasant reminder that veal is delicious.
If you like trying unique cuts of beef, be sure and check out this short rib recipe where we sous vide cook the meat for over 75 hours!
Disclaimer: This recipe is part of an event for Cedar Springs Veal. They sent product in consideration for promotional usage.
Big Green Egg Grilled Veal Chops Recipe
- 2 veal chops
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tablespoon diced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- garlic powder
- allow the butter to soften at room temperature
- combine the citrus, shallots, and parsley with butter to make a compound butter
- add a teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the butter
- grill the veal chops hot and fast over direct heat for about 5 minutes flipping often
- add a small amount of compound butter to season the meat while on the grill
- remove veal from heat
- slather compound butter on veal chops
- serve immediately
If you're looking for something unique and delicious to cook on the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe, try this Chicken and waffles burger. It won't disappoint.