Meat mar­ket

An­thony Puharich and Colin Fass­nidge dis­cuss a con­tentious cut of meat and ar­gue that we should eat more of it. The se­cret to mak­ing this ragu a date-night win­ner? Read on for the big re-veal…

delicious - - CONTENTS -

This month’s meal is the veal deal.

C: Ir­ish Ital­ian Stal­lion. Ital­ian and Ir­ish both be­gin with an ‘I’. A: Right. This is where we’re go­ing to­day. C: We’re go­ing with veal! Veal ragu. A: Sounds good. You can use any part of the veal shoul­der for this, too.

C: Veg­eta­bles, bar­ley, lots of rose­mary, a good splash of white wine, chicken stock, and you bring it to the boil, then re­duce the heat and leave it to cook for a few hours. In Ire­land it’s called an Ir­ish stew.

A: Yeah. It’s a cheap but very com­fort­ing dish. I am pro this.

C: Veal isn’t peas­ant though. Veal is Vic­tor Churchill; a Padding­ton dish. We’ll call this the Padding­ton Peas­ant’s dish.

A: Is your per­cep­tion of buy­ing veal that it’s ex­pen­sive?

C: Yes, it’s the qual­ity that has in­creased the price of it.

A: I am very pas­sion­ate about this be­cause veal is a by-prod­uct of the dairy in­dus­try. The rea­son we don’t eat enough veal is be­cause of the stigma that has al­ways been around it and the way it’s farmed.

C: Yes, they usu­ally kill the male calves don’t they? And we’re us­ing rosé veal here, not white veal.

A: Yes, so we sal­vage the calves from the dairy in­dus­try. We put them into a feed­ing pro­gram, and even­tu­ally pro­duce this rosé veal. Del­i­cate, soft, ten­der. Beau­ti­ful veal. And there’s so much pres­sure and de­pen­dence on beef and lamb in this coun­try that we have to in­tro­duce an­other pro­tein in or­der to get peo­ple to be more sus­tain­able. We need an equi­lib­rium. The stigma comes from how veal used to be pro­duced, but that’s not how we’re do­ing it. I love what you’re do­ing here, be­cause you’re bring­ing in a new way of cook­ing it.

C: Yeah, peo­ple just think of veal schnitzel. This would be great cook­ing for date night. The man can just put all the in­gre­di­ents in the pot – sim­mer it, thicken it, then sea­son and serve it. A: Any id­iot can cook this? C: Any man can cook this. You might not have the Ital­ian ac­cent, but you have the tricks in the kitchen! We’re not rein­vent­ing the veal here. Get it? A: Yes. C: It’s the Sophia Loren of cook­ing. It’s got pas­sion, it’s got flavour, and it’s un­der­stated.

A: Who doesn’t like Sophia Loren!


1kg bone­less veal shoul­der

(sub­sti­tute veal chuck), quar­tered 1 bunch baby (Dutch) car­rots,

trimmed 6 es­chalots, peeled, halved 2 rose­mary sprigs, plus ex­tra

2 tsp finely chopped picked leaves 6 gar­lic cloves, bruised

1/ 2 cup (125ml) white wine 8 cups (2L) chicken stock 1 parme­san rind (op­tional) 1 cup (200g) pearl bar­ley 15g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened 1 tbs plain flour

1/4 cup (60ml) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 200g fresh bread­crumbs Finely grated parme­san and chopped

flat-leaf pars­ley leaves, to serve

Com­bine veal, car­rot, es­chalot, rose­mary sprigs, gar­lic, wine, stock and parme­san rind, if us­ing, in a large flame­proof casse­role with a fit­ted lid. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Re­duce heat to low, cover and cook at a gen­tle sim­mer, stir­ring ev­ery hour, for 2 hours 30 min­utes or un­til veal is very ten­der.

Mean­while, cook pearl bar­ley ac­cord­ing to packet in­struc­tions, drain, then set aside.

Trans­fer veal to a chop­ping board, coarsely shred with 2 forks and set aside. Dis­card parme­san rind and rose­mary stalks from the ragu. In­crease heat to medium-high and bring to a sim­mer. Com­bine but­ter and flour in a bowl and, piece by piece, grad­u­ally stir through ragu. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 15 min­utes or un­til thick­ened slightly.

To make the rose­mary bread­crumbs, heat oil in a large fry­pan over medium-high heat. Add ex­tra chopped rose­mary and bread­crumbs, and cook, stir­ring con­stantly, for 5 min­utes or un­til golden. Re­move from pan and drain on pa­per towel.

Di­vide bar­ley and ragu among serv­ing bowls and scat­ter with rose­mary bread­crumbs, parme­san and pars­ley to serve.


While it’s a meat that at­tracts some con­tro­versy, veal pro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially in Aus­tralia, is very much on the ‘high wel­fare’ side. Strict guide­lines state calves must be reared in open pens and fed a mix­ture of milk and grains or grass. The re­sult is meat with a more pink­ish colour (as op­posed to the com­mon ‘white veal’) called rosé veal. Slow-cooked, braised, roasted or pan­fried, veal de­liv­ers a tasty, ten­der re­sult.

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