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Veal stew is a meat dish that is made using the meat of young cows. Cubed veal can be browned or lightly seared and simmered with other ingredients to create a rich and savory dish. A stew is much thicker than a soup. It also includes less liquid and requires longer cooking over lower heat. There are endless possibilities when it comes to preparing a veal stew.
Recipes for veal stew vary depending on taste. Any stew recipe that calls for beef, chicken or pork can be made into a veal stew recipe simply by using veal instead of another type of meat. Veal also can be added to any vegetable stew recipe. A cook can make veal stew in a slow cooker, on the stove top or even in the oven.
The process of making veal stew usually begins with cubed veal being browned in a heavy skillet using olive or vegetable oil. A cook might use fresh or frozen vegetables such as carrots, celery and green beans in addition to the veal. The stew can be thickened by adding potatoes or rice. The taste of the veal stew can be changed by swapping the carrots and green beans for yellow, red and green peppers. Salt and pepper can be added for seasoning before the stew is served.
Less-tender cuts of veal, including the breast, round steak or shanks, are ideal for stewing. The bones of the calves are often used to make a stock that creates the base for soups and stews. Veal is naturally tender, so it is not necessary to marinate the meat to tenderize it. Marinating to enhance the flavor of the veal can be done in as little as 30 minutes.
Veal is lower in fat than most other meats. Proper preparation is essential to ensure that the meat remains tender. Slow cooking the meat locks in the flavor and juices.
For centuries, veal has been an important ingredient in Italian and French cuisine. Veal has a more delicate, tender texture than beef. It generally is a light pink color. After a calf begins eating solid food, the iron in the food causes the animal's meat to change to a darker, reddish hue. Although veal can come from any sex and breed of cow, males are predominantly used.