Fillet steaks, T-bone steaks and tenderloin steaks we eat at barbecue restaurants are so tasty we are willing to cook them again at home. Apparently cooking veal roast doesn’t seem very complicated, is it? We only need few ingredients and meat. So we go to the store, we buy the most appetizing piece of meat and we get ready to cook it. As we don’t have barbecue at home, or we don’t have time to light it, at home we usually use frying pans, grills and griddles. We cook our steak with love but, when we finally taste it for the first time, we realize we are eating a disgusting tough to chew piece of meat.
If you don’t want this to happen again, follow our tips bellow. We will show you how to choose the perfect cut, how to prepare and season it properly, which is the perfect pan to roast and how to cook it until perfection for a tender, juicy and tasty result.
You must choose the correct veal to balance tenderness and flavour
There are different types of veal. In certain cooking techniques, such as stewing, this is not very relevant, but when we talk about roasting, you must make a good choice if you don’t want to eat dry meat.
Veal meat is classified according to its age. The most common one comes from 8 to 12 months old animals. It’s a very young and tender meat, rich in water and poor in fat. For an even more tender steak, we could choose milk calves meat. If tenderness is our priority, these are our best options. But you must take into consideration these are also the less tasty ones. If you prefer some more flavour, baby-beef – slaughtered at between 12 and 24 months- is the best option.
Next age categories are bullocks, heifers and adult bovine (young bulls, cows and older bulls). Adult bovine tenderloin steaks and T-bone steaks can be even better and tastier than young veal meat. But we recommend using veal and baby-beef meat for the everyday fillet steak.
Which is the best veal roast cut?
Well, if this is your first time in the kitchen or you have plenty of money for everything, the best you can do is buy tenderloin, short loin and sirloin. These are the most tender parts and will give you no troubles. But as most people can’t afford eating only T-bone steaks and tenderloin steaks, there are other good options for our everyday cooking. We recommend you the top part of the round.
Which is the perfect thickness?
This is also very important, especially for our everyday fillet steak. If the cut is too thin, the result can be too dry and tough. We recommend you to ask your butcher to give you one centimeter and a half cut. This is the perfect thickness to easily cook the steak at your own taste avoiding complications. You don’t need to be strict with this with T-bone steaks and tenderloin steaks.
On the other hand, we also recommend you to buy fresh meat in the butchery and avoid packed meat. Packed meat usually has more water and some added substances than the fresh one and it also comes with a big useless plastic pack. Added substances are not quite healthy and water excess is not good for roast meat, as we will see below.
Before cooking: preparation and seasoning
One of the biggest veal roast mistakes is cooking it directly from the fridge. In fact this is one of the main reasons your steak is dry and tough. You must take it out from the fridge with plenty of time and cooking it at room temperature. You must also ensure meat is completely dry. Liquid excess must be removed before cooking it. If not, if will boil. Use kitchen paper to remove liquid excess.
Oil must be put in the meat, not in the pan. Use a kitchen brush to spread oil on both sides of your steak. And use the minimum quantity as possible. This is important for two reasons. First one is we usually use too much oil when we poor it in the pan, and we want to roast it, not to fry it. Second one is roasting requires the pan to be very hot. If oil is in our pan it will get burned before cooking, which is both very unhealthy and bad for meat taste.
Finally the salt. There are many theories about this subject. Some people prefers salting when meat is cooked, some other when turning the meat and there is even a third group who recommend salting just before roasting. Al options are correct. The important thing is to salt at the very latest moment.
Meat roast doesn’t need anything else to taste great. But if you are bored and looking for new experiences, you can use herbs and spices. There are unlimited great combinations and no extra calories will be added.
Which pan must I use? Can I use a frying pan? Or should I always choose a grill or griddle?
There are many ways to roast. You can use a barbeque, the oven or even the spatchcock technique. But everyday fillet steak is commonly cooked in frying pans, grill pans and griddles. The only difference between them is some are plain and some are grooved. The choice depends on your preferences, but you must take into consideration pan material, quality and thickness. This is very important because veal roast requires cooking at very high temperature. You can find more information in our post Grill Pan or Flat Griddle Pan.
It’s time to cook
First step is heating up the pan. We must heat it slowly. We must never heat it at maximum temperature and wait until it’s very hot. If we did it, pan could be damaged and also the non-stick coating. We must use medium heat and increase intensity gradually until it reaches the required temperature. This way pan heats uniformly all around the cooking surface so veal is evenly roasted.
We must turn steak only once. If we have already asked our butcher for 1.5cm cut, we must cook it during one minute each side if you like medium rare fillet steaks. T-bone medium rare steaks require 3-4 minutes each side. Go to Secrets to Grill Like a Chef for more information.