Veal is a type of beef that is available in groceries and butcher shops in several cuts, including the popular veal cutlet. When veal is grilled — a popular method of preparing the generally tender and flavorful meat — the veal should be lightly seasoned. Thicker cuts should be allowed to come to room temperature. Veal is generally considered to be at its best when cooked to medium-rare, and one should not leave it on the grill too long to avoid having the meat dry out.
The first step in grilling veal is finding the right cut. While veal can be found in many locations, some shoppers prefer to purchase it from a butcher to help ensure quality and freshness. Some veal cuts are not appropriate for the grill because of their size. While a scaloppine cut is called for in many recipes, this thin cut can be too delicate for grilling and may stick to the grilling surface and tear. Veal cutlets and chops are both considered safer options for grilling.
Before grilling veal, the meat can be lightly seasoned with salt and pepper or marinated for a few hours. Veal is an expensive selection, and many cooks prefer to use seasonings that don't mask the taste of the meat, so its natural flavor can be savored at the table. Cooks may wish to allow thicker veal steaks to come to room temperature before placing them on the grill to ensure even cooking. Cleaning the grill beforehand and oiling it slightly with olive oil or canola oil can help keep the veal from sticking to the grilling surface.
Its low fat content means grilling veal generally will not produce as much smoke or potential for grease fires as other beef cuts do. This lack of fat also means that veal has a tendency to dry out when cooked beyond medium-rare. Using an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness can help avoid overcooking. Consumers who enjoy well-done steaks may wish to avoid grilling veal and use regular cuts of beef with a higher fat content.
Once veal has been cooked to the desired doneness, it should be allowed to rest for a few minutes before serving or slicing. This will help the meat retain its juiciness at the table. Veal can be served alone or with a simple sauce that helps accent its flavor. When grilling veal, some cooks also prepare vegetables and other side items on the grill to avoid shuttling back and forth to the kitchen.