What is Veal Bacon? A Delicious Alternative to Regular Bacon

Have you ever seen veal bacon in your local butcher shop or specialty grocery store and wondered – what is it exactly? Is it just like regular pork bacon? How is it made and where does it come from?

As a bacon lover, I was curious to learn more about this less common type of bacon. In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about veal bacon – what it is, how it tastes, where to find it, and how to cook with it. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

What Exactly is Veal Bacon?

Veal bacon is made from the meat of young calves rather than pork. It is produced from the belly, breast, or loin section of veal cattle.

The veal used for bacon typically comes from calves that are 16-18 weeks old and weigh around 180-250 pounds. Male dairy calves are most often used since they are not needed for milk production like female calves.

How is Veal Bacon Made?

Veal bacon is made using a similar process to regular pork bacon, Here are the basic steps

  • The veal belly or loin sections are trimmed of excess fat and connective tissue.

  • The meat is then cured, either with a dry salt-based cure or a wet brine cure. This curing process adds flavor and preserves the meat.

  • Spices like black pepper, garlic, coriander and red chili are sometimes added to the curing mix for extra flavor.

  • The cured veal is then cold smoked slowly to enhance flavor and color. This smoke gives it a fuller “bacon-y” taste.

  • Finally, the smoked veal bacon is sliced and packaged for sale. The bacon can be sliced thin for frying or thicker for dicing.

How Does Veal Bacon Taste Compared to Pork?

The flavor of veal bacon is similar to pork bacon but more mild and delicate. Since the meat comes from younger animals, it has a finer texture and tenderness.

The taste is lightly sweet and savory, without being overly salty or smoky. The flavor profile is well-rounded rather than aggressive or overpowering.

Some even say veal bacon tastes vaguely like prosciutto with its soft and almost buttery quality. The melt-in-your-mouth tenderness makes it unique from the chewy, crunchy texture of regular bacon.

Health Benefits of Choosing Veal Bacon

One of the biggest health advantages of veal bacon compared to pork is its leanness. While pork bacon is around 50% fat, veal bacon contains only about 15% fat since it comes from much younger animals.

Veal bacon can have up to 40% less saturated fat than pork bacon. The decreased fat and cholesterol content makes veal bacon a little healthier. It provides protein while limiting fat and sodium.

However, keep in mind it is still cured meat with sodium added through the curing process. Moderation is key, even when consuming the leaner veal bacon option.

Where Can You Buy Veal Bacon?

Veal bacon is harder to find than common pork bacon but is growing in popularity and availability. Here are some places to look when seeking out this unique ingredient:

  • Specialty or gourmet butchers often carry veal bacon, even if your regular grocery store does not. Ask your local butcher if they can source it.

  • Online meat delivery services like Wiser Meats or other farm-to-table providers.

  • High-end grocers like Whole Foods may have veal bacon in limited quantities. Check the specialty meat cases.

  • Farmers markets, especially those focused on locally-raised meats. Ask vendors if they or other farmers offer veal.

  • Italian specialty markets or delis sometimes carry veal products like bacon.

  • Directly from veal cattle farms and ranches in your area. This ensures the freshest quality.

Cooking with Veal Bacon – Delicious Recipes to Try

The delicate flavor and texture of veal bacon lends itself well to certain cooking methods and recipes. Here are some tasty ways to put this unique ingredient to delicious use:

Veal Bacon Wrapped Scallops

  • Wrap thin slices of veal bacon around large sea scallops and secure with a toothpick.

  • Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until bacon is crisp.

  • The sweet scallops pair perfectly with the savory bacon.

Veal Bacon Onion Tart

  • Line a tart pan with veal bacon slices in an overlapping pattern.

  • Fill with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, creme fraiche and thyme.

  • Bake until the bacon and onions are browned and the filling is bubbly.

Veal Bacon and Apple Sandwiches

  • Fry veal bacon slices until crispy.

  • Serve on toasted bread with sliced apples, arugula, and a smear of goat cheese or blue cheese.

  • The sweet apples and acidic cheese complement the veal bacon.

Veal Bacon Mac and Cheese

  • Dice veal bacon and cook until lightly crisped.

  • Add to macaroni and cheese, either stove-top or baked.

  • The veal bacon adds a savory, smoky flavor to ever-popular mac and cheese. Kids and adults alike will love this version!

Veal Bacon Brussel Sprouts

  • Toss halved brussel sprouts in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast in a 425F oven until browned and tender.

  • In the last 5 minutes of roasting, add diced veal bacon to the pan to warm through and crisp slightly.

  • The subtle smoky notes pair wonderfully with caramelized brussel sprouts.

Storing and Freezing Veal Bacon

Veal bacon should be stored properly to maintain quality and freshness, just like regular pork bacon. Follow these tips:

  • Store unopened veal bacon in its original packaging in the refrigerator. Use within 7-10 days of purchase.

  • Once opened, wrap leftover veal bacon tightly in plastic wrap or place strips in a zip-top bag. It will keep for 5-7 days.

  • For longer freezer storage, wrap veal bacon well in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag. It will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.

  • Bacon is prone to picking up other frozen food odors, so seal it very well before freezing. You can even double wrap in foil and plastic.

  • Let frozen veal bacon t

How to Make Beef Bacon | The Bearded Butchers


What is the meaning of veal bacon?

The term ‘veal’ refers to meat from calves slaughtered under a year old, often bull calves from dairy herds, since they cannot be used for milk production.

Is veal bacon halal?

Flavoured veal smoked bacon, stewed and lightly smoked with the natural combustion of beech wood. This divine cut of meat is highly coveted for its delicious smoky taste, serve it with your closest ones and enjoy a fantastic feast together! This product is Halal.

How is veal different from beef?

What is the difference between beef and veal? The difference between beef and veal is that beef is from older cattle whereas veal is the meat of younger cattle. ‘English Rose’ veal or high welfare veal has a distinct light pink colour, beef being a darker red.

What is bacon made from beef called?

Also called navel brisket and beef plate, beef belly is the same cut of the pig traditional pork bacon is made from. As they have a similar fat composition, it can be used as a substitute for brisket to make beef navel pastrami and other salumi.

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