This week’s Butcher’s Diary comes from the farmers themselves at FigTree Organics. This veal is amazing organic quality and we buy what is called stockyard veal – which is where the calves are a bit older and are already weaned. Veal has had a bad reputation for many reasons. In Europe and other countries veal is much paler (almost white) in colour, because the calves are kept in crates to restrict movement and exposure to light, and fed solely on milk or milk powder to make the meat super soft. This practice is not allowed in Australia. Ethical veal is produced from animals who are well looked after, and is a rose pink to red colour like regular beef because the animals are weaned and fed on grass. Their weaning and separation from mothers is a natural process that is handled humanely by our farmers. We will have this veal in store over the next week or 2, so try it while you can. We will publish some more veal recipes this week.
“The veal we have sent down to Shiralee Organic Meats is a special treat for the next couple of weeks as we go about our annual weaning of all the calves in the herd.
As the mothers are now heavily pregnant with their next calf, part of our annual management is to separate the calves from their mothers (who are now 7 to 10 months old).
We wean the calves in a big yard where they are carefully handled and fed high quality hay that we produce on farm. The mothers are able to come back to the yards for as long as they like (most only hang around for 24 hours as they realise they need a rest themselves before the wonderful cycle of life starts all over again with their next calf).
We have been able to select some really nice animals for Dave and Donna at Shiralee, as we separate the calves from their mothers during our annual weaning process.”