Roast topside veal joint with garlic and parsley

Serves 8
2kg topside milk veal joint
2 garlic heads
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
100g butter, softened
1 tsp sugar
sea salt and black pepper

Take the joint out of the fridge and place in a roasting tray, to come up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Tear the parsley into small pieces, reserving a little for garnish, and place in a bowl. Mix in the butter and sugar, then season. Pull the garlic heads apart a little at the top and spoon a knob of the butter mixture on top. Set the garlic aside, then coat the joint completely with the remaining butter mixture.

Roast the joint for 20 mins, then turn the temperature down to 160°C/gas mark 3 and add the garlic heads. Roast for 1 hr 20 mins. Allow to rest for 15 mins, covered with tin foil, before carving and serving.

Freedom food

Delicate in flavour and tender in texture, veal is the meat from young male calves, that are less than a year old. These are said to have a better meat to bone ratio than older steers, such as yearlings.

British meat marked with the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme is selected. This ensures calves have been cared for according to the charity’s strict welfare standards. The market for compassionately-bred veal is growing as a humane response to the number of male calves produced in the milk industry. Female cows need to calve regularly to be able to supply milk. Female calves are kept to join the dairy herd. Today, male calves in Britain go to produce two types of veal.

Rosé veal is a pink-coloured meat, from young animals aged between eight and 12 months old, raised on beef feed. Calves bred over spring and summer are likely to have been grazed outside. This meat has a visible grain.

Milk veal comes from animals up to six months old that have been fed from a nurse cow. Barley straw is also included in their diet. This helps keep the meat very pale in colour. In flavour and texture it is nearer to chicken than beef.

Like all red meat, veal is a good source of B vitamins and zinc. Pound for pound it contains half the fat of lean beef.

Other veal recipes in our May/June 2016 issue: