Today’s NYTimes Dining Section had a piece on the new crop of grass-fed, pastured veal. It seems like the veal we’ve been eating for decades, where the calves can’t turn around in their cages and whatnot, isn’t really all that good, anyway. While the resulting flavorless white (no iron) meat comes out tender, chefs and ethical people everywhere decided that being able to cut your steak with a fork is not worth the bland horror of suffering calves. In stepped some guilty but enterprising farmers, who raised cage-free calves (or at least in bigger cages) that turned out to be delicious - a perfect compromise between flavor, texture, and morality. This new and improved veal is on sale at only the most select butchers, and at small number of restaurants around the country.
This last bit intrigued us, especially since the article named a Chicago restaurant in its shortlist: Blackbird, where a grilled organic veal ribeye is served with cornbread porridge, rapini, bittersweet chocolate, black truffle and rosemary for $36. And so we wondered, where else can you get the new veal?
We started calling around, and were reminded that 1) veal is still a contentious issue and 2) big restaurants with PR departments are not necessarily so keen on sharing their suppliers with any old Joe on the telephone (especially one with blogging credentials). Some places were audibly annoyed with our questions, while others were more than happy to talk about the provenance of their veal. We’re still waiting to hear back from some of the big players, and we will share our findings tomorrow. Stay tuned.
[Photo: Animal Liberation]
n.b. Personally, we think all veal is delicious.