Humane, Pasture-Raised Veal From Marin and Sonoma

Rossotti Ranch's veal rib eye grilled with herbs and spices. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Rossotti Ranch’s veal rib eye grilled with herbs and spices. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

For decades, veal has been shunned by many.

For good reason, what with horror stories of calves snatched from their mothers, only to be confined in crates so minuscule they couldn’t even turn around.

But just as some farmers now have instituted more humane treatment of chickens, pigs, and full-grown cows, so too have they done so with calves.

Rossotti Ranch is a ninth-generation, family-owned ranch on the border between Marin County and Petaluma, that is committed to raising 100-percent pasture-raised goat, chicken, duck, and veal. It was established by husband-and-wife Tony and Julie Rossotti, who hail from ranching families originally from Switzerland.

Ranch Co-Owner Julie Rossotti (photo by Kristina Franziska Haas).

Ranch Co-Owner Julie Rossotti (photo by Kristina Franziska Haas).

They recently just started selling their meats nationwide through their Rossotti Ranch Web site, where you can purchase different packages, such as the Rancher’s Box, 5 pounds of premium veal cuts, plus 2 pounds of ground or stew veal meat, a jar of seasoning, and a cookbook — all for $125. Or create your own custom box of products.

Previously, the products were available only at the Marin Civic Center farmers’ market on Sundays, and at select restaurants and butcher shops in California.

I had a chance to try samples of its veal. What sets this veal apart is the fact that the ranch’s calves graze all their life on certified organic grassland, next to their mothers. Indeed, the calves consume only grass, hay and their mother’s milk.

The 1.36-pound veal rib eye chop was incredibly juicy and tender. Though the flavor is not as robust as beef, it’s milder character is plenty satiating.

Point Reyes Preserves Grotto Seasoning. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Point Reyes Preserves Grotto Seasoning. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

I used the sample of Point Reyes Grotto Seasoning on the chop. A blend of sea salt, garlic, lemon, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, chili and parsley, it was savory and herbaceous, but subtle enough as to not mask the flavor of the meat.

The sizeable veal rib chop. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The sizeable veal rib chop. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The veal loin roast. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The veal loin roast. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The veal loin roast also cooked up moist. Again, it’s not the in-your-face, manly beef roast you’d have with Yorkshire pudding. Rather, it’s a more modest, more feminine, if you will, piece of meat to enjoy without having to loosen your belt.

If you gave up on veal long ago, Rossotti Ranch is a compelling reason to give it another chance now.

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