How to Sous Vide Veal

Choosing to eat veal may be controversial and not everybody’s choice, but it does bring tenderness and a delicate flavor to the table. Calves’ muscles are not worked as much or for as long as older cattle —only around six or seven months. The meat takes on a slightly darker color between eight and twelve months; this is known as ‘rose veal.’

Sous vide does not benefit all cuts of veal. A cutlet is already thin and tender, so it sears quickly on the stovetop and is therefore not worth the time or effort to sous vide. Veal loin chops on the other hand are a great choice as they are enhanced by using the sous vide method. The sous vide method cooks the interior of the chop perfectly, and the bone will infuse the meat with additional flavor. The veal chop is finished by pan-searing it in a cast-iron skillet with an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, to create a perfect crust.

Seasoning with salt and pepper will more than suffice, but you might like to add herbs or spices to level up the flavor. Veal marries particularly well with rosemary, sage, mushrooms, marsala sauce, prosciutto, or caper herb sauce.

Veal chops are incredibly delicious topped with compound butter, such as an herb butter or a zesty lime butter.

Temperature and cooking times for veal

DeviceTemperatureTime
Suvie135°F  (for medium)1 to 3 hours
Immersion Circulator 135°F  (for medium)3 hours


You can use the steak sous vide cooking guide below to help you select the right temperature for your desired level of doneness for your veal:

TemperatureTimeResult
125°F*1-3 hoursRare
130°F1-3 hoursMedium rare
135°F1-3 hoursMedium
145°F1-3 hoursMedium Well
150°F1-3 hoursWell done
*Please note that some of these temperatures are lower than what the FDA recommends. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness.

You can refrigerate any cooked leftovers in an airtight container or freezer-safe resealable bag for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or 2 to 3 months in the freezer.

ServesActive TimePreheat TimeCook Time
1 to 25 minutes15 minutes3 hours

Ingredients and Tools

Equipment

  • Suvie or immersion circulator
  • Large pot or sturdy container (if using an immersion circulator)
  • Vacuum sealer bags or freezer-safe resealable bags
  • Large cast-iron skillet
  • Tongs

Ingredients 

  • 1 or 2 veal loin chops
  • 1 to 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter, divided (optional) 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 

Directions

1) If you’re using a sous vide immersion circulator, pre-heat your water bath to 135°F. 

2) Pat veal chops dry and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper per side.

3) Transfer veal chop to a vacuum bag or resealable bag. Add a small sprig of rosemary and ½ tbsp butter (if using) to each bag and seal. If you’re using a resealable bag, use the water displacement method to seal.

4) Lower the bag into the heated water bath and cook for 1 to 3 hours. 

If you are using Suvie, place the bag into a Suvie pan and cover entirely with water. Insert pan into the top or bottom of your Suvie and input the following settings.

Suvie Cook Settings

Bottom Zone: Sous Vide at 135°F for 1- 3 hours

5) Once the cook is finished, remove the bag from your Suvie or water bath. Pat veal dry with a paper towel. Discard rosemary sprig if using.


6) To finish your veal you have two options: pan searing or grilling. 

To pan sear, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a medium cast-iron pan over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke and shimmer, add the veal chops and cook without moving for 30 seconds to 1 minute until a crust has formed. Depending on how big your chops are, you may need to cook one at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan. 

To grill, sear chops on a hot grill for between 1-2 minutes on each side until grill marks have formed. 

RECIPE LINKS:

Halibut with Cilantro-Lime Butter

Strip Steak with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Fries


Monkfish with Caper Herb Sauce


Osso Bucco with Creamy Polenta

FAQs

Are the cooking temperatures safe?

Our recommended cooking temperatures for Sous vide and Suvie are lower than what the USDA recommends, however, cooking times and temperatures are long enough and high enough for “pasteurization” to make your food safe. The USDA recommendations indicate the temperature needed to instantly kill food pathogens. By cooking for a longer time at a lower temperature we are able to achieve the same effect. However, high-risk populations should use extra caution when preparing foods below the USDA recommended temperatures.

Can I use any type of plastic bag?

You can, however, make sure that they are made from polyethylene. Some branded bags are made using polyethylene, a BPA and dioxin-free plastic that can safely handle sous vide cooking temperatures up to 190°F. Some generic branded plastic bags are made using cheaper polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which cannot handle high temps and contains chemicals that can leach into food. 

Should I leave my veal to rest before serving? 

One of the great things about cooking with Suvie and sous vide is the evenness of temperature. While the outer edges will be hotter from the sear, the veal chop’s interior will be cooked to the same temperature throughout, so no resting time is necessary. 

I forgot to defrost my veal; what now?

No problem! You can sous vide veal directly from frozen. Just add 1 hour to the cooking time. 

Can I cool my veal after the sous vide process and sear it later?

For food safety and general food quality reasons, we don’t recommend it. Veal should be seared and eaten soon after the sous vide step.

Can I leave my veal in the water bath indefinitely? 

You can, but you shouldn’t. While leaving veal in sous vide for extended periods won’t result in overcooking, it will have a negative effect on the overall texture of the meat. 

Should I marinade the veal chops?

Veal is tender and has a delicate flavor, so you do not need to marinade. However, you might like to add another layer of flavor to the bag ahead of the sous vide process to enhance the flavor, such as herbs or aromatics.

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