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Oct 31, 2008 07:03 AM

grain vs. milk fed veal

In making osso bucco do you think it would matter? My butcher can only get grain fed. Not sure if this would make a difference in taste, he says probably not, but doesn't know for sure. Does anyone have any experience?

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  1. Grain fed veal may be slightly older than milk fed veal. Some butchers may call it baby beef, but that term is not used much anymore. I would prefer grain fed, since milk fed may imply dark pen conditions, with a milk formula feed and antibiotics.
    Either veal will work well in long slow cooking; milk fed may have an advantage for tender fried dishes.

    1. I have used milk fed, grain fed, and beef (and pork, for that matter...wanna try lamb next).
      I have not made these dishes side by side for comparison sake so am hesitant to say theres no difference.
      I will say that I was very happy with each dish - the long braise is pretty much an equalizer.
      I usually buy grain fed veal for osso bucco (it is labelled only as veal, but the color is much redder) only because it is cheaper.
      I think it would be more important if you were to use the meat in a less forgiving dish (ultimately tartare, I would guess).

      1 Reply
      1. re: porker

        Quite self-centered, that Porker; look at all the I this and I thats (eeek)

      2. I have used grain fed, milk fed and free range and for osso bucco and other veal dishes which involve using dry heat methods like sauteing, pan frying, broiling or grilling as part of or the sole cooking process I prefer milk fed veal! It's definitely more tender. I tried tenderizing the pink veal, but the milk fed veal was still better. If you can't get milk fed veal then the grain fed will have to do. If the recipe calls for veal then by all means use veal, substituting with chicken or pork doesn't produce the same flavor. Best regards and Happy Cooking :)