Veal is one of the tenderest meats you can buy, but you may want to tenderize veal cutlets further to maximize that quality. While acids, such as white vinegar, tenderize meat, they jeopardize the overall quality of the meat. The key to ensuring your veal cutlets stay succulent is manual rather than chemical tenderizing.
What Vinegar Does to Veal
Acids, such as vinegar and citrus juice, break protein bonds, which tenderizes meat. But they also cause the protein strands to tighten within minutes of breaking the proteins. As a result, when you marinate meat in vinegar, the surface starts to toughen before the marinade even penetrates the interior flesh. Veal toughens especially fast because it’s so lean.
A Safer Tenderizer
To tenderize veal cutlets without compromising the quality of the meat, pound the cutlets with a meat mallet. Lay a veal cutlet on your work surface, sandwiched between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the veal gently with the flat side of a meat mallet. Veal cutlets are generally 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Pound the cutlet until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. If any connective tissue prevents the veal from flattening, make a shallow cut in the connective fibers with a sharp knife.
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