Dinner tonight: risotto alla milanese, roasted silverside of veal, glazed carrots
The risotto was by the numbers. The veal was the last piece I bought from a food festival late last year, left to languish in the freezer ever since; I wrapped it in bacon to roast it, as silverside is a pretty lean cut and the delicate veal meat needs some protective fat to protect it from drying out. The carrots were glazed to the recipe from Heston Blumenthal At Home, which means they are essentially deep fried in melted butter. I was fine with that, although I’m not planning on making a habit of cooking carrots this way for obvious health-related reasons. One small variation there: I swapped the sugar out for a touch of maple syrup.
The veal came from Bocaddon Farm, which means it’s ethical veal. It’s true that veal has a very bad reputation, with many Brits associating it with distasteful animal welfare issues on the Continent. But the fact is that veal is a byproduct of all dairy farms; the male calves born to the cows are often shot at birth, as many as 150,000 a year, because there is no market for them.
Farmers like Bocaddon Farm and Jimmy Doherty are trying to reverse that wastage by creating a domestic market for so-called “rose veal” (because the calves are fed normal cow feed, rather than the traditional milk, so the meat is pinkish rather than the more typical off-white). It’s certainly an argument that makes sense to me, and I’ll be looking out for rose veal in my local markets in the future.