I have made Meatloaf, Meatballs, Stuffed Peppers, etc so much over the years that I can’t even imagine on putting a number on it. And of course I used the usual meat combinations of ground beef, pork and veal. Recently, I was watching one of my favorite TV daily cooking shows (The Chew) last week here in the States. On the show was a noted Chef who actually has a chemistry degree. Not a cooking degree but something still in sciences. I have always said that cooking and baking is a science.
Cooking and Baking comes down to science and our taste buds…
So I am listening to the comments and I then hear him make a claim that veal wasn’t needed and why. I listened and then I gave it some thought as having a Medical Technology / Biology degree, myself, I get what he was saying. Those who know me understand that I just had to research this. I wanted to know what each ground meat contributed to the texture and flavor of what we were making such as the popular meat loaf.
Now, I took to the internet, and of course Google. Even though I already have had my own recipe for meatloaf I decided to check other and older recipes published on the web. So, I went from site to site and glanced through the ingredients of the recipes on those many sites. A mental note were taken to the dates of the articles or, if available, dates on the recipes. A common thing I began to notice was a few recipes had this ground veal alternative. Several of them even explained why the change I saw in the recipes.
Meatloaf recipes researched…
So I changed the search parameters to the past 3 years. What I found confirmed that more and more recipes were moving away from the more expensive veal use and towards either omitting the veal completely or adding an alternative. Ground veal adds no real flavor to your meatloaf, meatballs, or to stuffed pepper or stuffed cabbage. So why is it that we have been adding veal. Let’s talk about the meat itself…
Difference between veal and beef is basically the age of the cow. Veal comes from a young animal and as such the muscles are not all that well developed. Fat in veal is softer and malleable. Also, because a younger cow has these undeveloped muscles the veal meat has a high concentration of collagen. Collagen is the connective protein in the young animal meat that actually transforms into gelatin as the meat cooks. Keyword: gelatin!
Expert Cooks now questioning the use of Veal…
So, why not use veal if it helps keeps the meatloaf and meatballs moist? Well, for one ground veal, like I mentioned, doesn’t taste like much and really adds nothing to the flavor. Cooks have added veal for one reason and only one – to help bind the meat and retain moisture because of the collagen. When the collagen turns into a gelatin state it helps bind the meat but also keeps the food moist by trapping water molecules and other liquids. This prevents those liquids from escaping to become the unused drippings we find in meatloaf pans or on top of the sauces in meatballs, stuffed cabbage, etc.. It’s a simple science.
Actually, one of the very first printed recipe using an alternative was in a recipe by David Pazmiño for his “Glazed All-meat Meatloaf” published in the January 2006 Cook’s Illustrated publication. What David Pazmiño used to replace the expensive ground veal with it’s collagen was an…
Alternative – Gelatin
An alternative is to then to use a small amount of unflavored gelatin found in just about every grocery store. Gelatin is so VERY inexpensive and the experts have been using it for years. Just one packet for the first 1 to 2 lbs of just beef of combined beef and pork. Use an additional packet for each (up to) 2 lbs of ground meat. It’s that simple and it has to do with the science and chemistry of cooking.
What I use in my meatloaf is the ground beef (80/20 or better), ground pork (adds flavor), bread crumbs or cubed stale bread (extender and adds texture), beef stock or water, eggs (binder), onions and other herbs, and the gelatin (binder). Instead of water you can use buttermilk. Because of its acidity, Buttermilk has been known to help break down the denser fats and tougher muscles. Buttermilk not only moisten the meat but, tenderize it.
Another thing to remember about using ground beef is to not over-work it when combining all the ingredients but to just mix it. Ground beef by itself, especially when making all beef burgers, doesn’t like to receive a physical workout. Just a mild but still thorough mixing. Adding the pork, which handles mixing a lot better, allows the combined mixture for your meatloaf, meatballs, etc. to get a better workout. Just don’t over do it. Allow the binders to do their job.
- 2 lbs Ground beef (I used 80/20)
- 1 lbs Ground lean pork
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients
Menfin les défenseurs de ces bleus là viendront nous dire les conséquences pour le gus qui tenais. C’est juste pour demander aux personnes qui s’expriment sur un sujet de faire attention , car un langage tempéré est apprécié dans une correspondance. Que l’on soit d’accord ou pas et meme sur le coup de la colere , c’est sympa de ne pas mettre d’insultes de type “pauvre con”. https://www.viagrasansordonnancefr.com/ Ceci dit je suis d’accord avec toi sur le fond mais pas sur la forme , les gendarmes ne sont pas des ivrognes il y en a mais dans tous les corps de métiers aussi.