Veal vs Lamb: What Is The Difference?

Veal vs Lamb

You might have encountered popular meats in your everyday life, such as beef, pork or chicken. However, meats like venison, veal, and lamb are not so popular as most people don’t know how to cook them. 

Though lamb meat and veal meat are both tender, there are some differences that can be noted from these two uncommon meats. Let us talk about how veal vs lamb differs from each other by reading this article further. 

Veal vs Lamb


What Is Veal?

Unlike beef that comes from older cattle, veal is the meat of calves or young cows who have not yet reached maturity. Though most veal meat comes from young male calves of dairy breeds which are not used for breeding, they can also be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed. 

When it comes to value, veal meat is also more expensive by weight than beef from older cattle.  Young cow calves are usually raised for about 16 to 18 weeks of age, until it reaches the weight up to 450 pounds. 

What Does Veal Meat Taste Like?

Calves are still cattles, so it is safe to assume that veal tastes the same as your regular beef. But since they are produced from the young calves with underdeveloped muscles, expect that they are more tender than beef. 

Veal meat would also produce that more delicate and neutral flavor. Just think of it as beef but with a soft and less aggressive flavor profile. These qualities are often preferred by most people, thus, veal can be more popular than beef. 

How Is Veal Cooked?

Mediterranean and European cuisines have different ways on how they serve and prepare veal meat. These cuisines would often use cutlets when preparing the dish from a veal, which is considered as a specialty meat. 

But there are two basic methods for cooking veal – moist or dry heat. Veal steak, veal chops, veal tenderloin, which are all tender cuts  can be cooked with dry heat. They can be cooked through grilling, broiling, or pan searing. 

It is also easy to achieve that tender and delicious veal taste. Simply sear the veal meat over high heat to get a caramelized exterior and put them in a low oven with liquid. Let the meat simmer for hours.

Since veal taste great on its own, it doesn’t need any excessive seasoning. Veal meat can also be used in any dishes that use a cooking wine or a wine sauce. 

Veal parmigiana, meat stew, veal marsala, veal pot roast, veal steak, veal chops, grilled meats, veal piccata, veals, roasted veal with mushrooms are just some of the plethora of ways on how you can cook veal meat. 

Lamb Meat

What Is Lamb Meat?

Lamb is a type of red meat from domesticated young sheep, which can be less than a year old. Though you might be familiar with the meat that comes from adult sheep – the mutton, and the hogget, which is the sheep meat from sheep in their second year. 

Lamb is also considerably a specialty meat. Unlike veal, lamb meat can be produced from a young sheep with no weight requirements, as long as they are within a year or less. 

Neck, flank, shanks, and leg of lamb/sirloin chops are some of the cuts of lamb that are used for catering. Lamb shakes and legs would be the two most popular cuts that are readily available in most markets. 

Other lamb cuts include loin, breast, ribs, rib roast, or a rack of ribs and shoulder, also called shoulder roast or shoulder chops. Both veal chops and lamb chops are used in different countries for their dishes. 

What Is the Taste of Lamb Meat?

Most lambs are grass-fed, providing them a unique gamey taste. According to some, sheep meat tastes like grassy, well-balanced, robust or pastoral due to the branched-chain fatty acids (BCFAs) in the lamb’s fat.

Compared to mutton, lamb meat is much more tender and milder in flavor. But when compared to beef, lamb definitely has a stronger flavor profile. 

How Lamb Is Cooked?

Lamb meat can be cooked in several ways, just like other specialty meats. But it is mostly preferred cooked medium rather than rare or well done. Having said that, you can definitely cook it at home depending on your preferred doneness. 

Some popular lamb dishes include lamb meatballs, lamb gyros, lamb kofta, lamb kebabs, kleftika, slow roasted Persian lamb, lamb rogan josh, Mongolian lamb stir-fry and Souvlaki. You could other popular lamb dish such as roasted lamb, Moroccan lamb tagine, shredded lamb shoulder, lamb soup, seasoned lamb chops, and more. 

What Is The Difference Between Veal VS Lamb?

Now that we have an idea of what veal and lamb is, it is time to spot their main differences. Veal and lamb can be great meat options. They are both produced from young animals or young livestock animal which have tender meats.

Since both veal and lamb came from young versions of the animals, they also tend to be more expensive. 

It is safe to say that their first difference would be on where they have come from. As discussed above, producing veal would need young cow calves for the cow meat. On the other hand, lamb is produced from a young sheep or baby lamb. 

Though both lamb and veal are tender, they have different tastes. Lamb taste has a stronger and gamier taste compared to veal. Veal also has a savory flavor and doesn’t need so much savory seasonings. 

When it comes to how they are being cut, lamb has more cuts compared to veal but they are limited. Even though veal is produced from a baby cow, it is still bigger than baby lamb. 

Which Should You Choose Between Veal and Lamb?

Some may ask which is better between veal and lamb. The answer could vary as we all have different tastes. Both veal and lamb are tender meats. They are also versatile and can be cooked in different ways. 

Some people may prefer veal for their dishes, while some will go with lamb. Mediterranean and European dishes also like veal as it can be preferred with veal bones and veal shanks. Lamb may also offer lean meat for some dishes. 

It all boils down on one’s taste. If you like a more gamey and stronger flavor, go for the lamb. If you would want a more subtle, less gamey and don’t need many seasonings, go with the veal. 

Always remember though that veal and lamb are not the same meat. Veal comes from the young calves, usually male as the female calves will be raised for dairy cow families. Whereas lamb comes from baby lamb that is one year or less. 

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