PRIMAL AND SUBPRIMAL CUTS OF VEAL
Although shoulder chops and steaks can be fabricated, they are inferior to the chops cut from more tender areas such as the loin or rib. Often the shoulder meat is ground or cubed for stew. Because of the relatively large amount of connective tissue it contains, meat from the shoulder is best braised or stewed.
The foreshank and breast are located beneath the shoulder and rib sections on the front half of the meat. They are considered one primal cut. Combined, they account for approximately 16% of the calf weight.
This primal contains rib bones and rib cartilage, breastbones and shank bones. Because the calf is a slaughtered young, many of the breastbones are cartilaginous rather than bony. This cartilage, as well as the ample fat and connective tissue also present in the breast, breaks down during long moist cooking, thus making the flavorful breast a good choice for braising. Veal breast can also be cubed for stews such as veal fricassee and veal blanquette, rolled and stuffed, or trimmed and ground. The foreshank is also very flavorful but tough. It can be braised whole or sliced perpendicular to the shank bone and braised to produce osso bucco.
The veal loin is posterior to the primal rib, contains two ribs (numbers 12 and 13) and accounts for approximately 10% of the calf weight. The loin consists of the loin eye muscle on top of the rib bones and the tenderloin under them.
If the primal veal loin is separated from the primal leg before the tenderloin is removed, the tenderloin will be cut into two pieces. The small portion (short tenderloin) remains in the primal loin, and the large portion (butt tenderloin) remains in the sirloin portion of the primal leg. The tenderloin is sometimes removed and cut into medallions. The veal loin is often cut into chops, bone-in or boneless. It is usually cooked using dry-heat methods such as broiling, grilling, roasting or sautéing.
To fabricate these cuts, the leg is first broken down into its major muscles: the top round, eye round, knuckle, sirloin, bottom round (which includes the sirloin) and butt tenderloin. Each of these muscles can be reduced to scallops by trimming all fat and visible connective tissue and dicing against the grain to the desired thickness. The scallops then should be pounded carefully to tenderize them further and to prevent them from curling when cooked. The hindshank is somewhat meatier than the foreshank, but both are prepared and cooked in the same manner.
Because the veal meat is small enough to be handled easily, it is sometimes purchased in forms larger than the primal cuts described earlier. However, most meat markets will have the meat broken down already in easy to handle portions. There are some markets that deal with large cuts of meat, but due to today's technology and consumer behavior, they are becoming more difficult to find. Just ask your Doris' meat manager about the diiferent types of veal we carry or just look in the meat case to whet your appetite for some veal delicacy. (source: victoriapacking.com)