Veal Milanese with lemon and fresh vegetable salad, closeup

What Is the Best Veal Stock Substitute? 

So, you’re making a recipe that calls for veal stock and you don’t have any, huh? Well, that can be a problem!

The good news is that you won’t have to give up on making the desired recipe. There are many excellent substitutes you can go for.

So, what’s the best veal stock substitute? And will it work in your recipe?

We’ll answer all your questions in this post! We’ll also tell you all about the best substitutes you can use instead of veal stock. Stick around!

Sliced steak on bone veal rib

Understanding Veal Stock

Although veal stock is mildly flavored, it’s incredibly rich. That makes it a perfect base for many classic sauces, like the demi-glace and pan sauce. It’s also a staple in French cooking.

So, when replacing veal stock in a recipe, you want a substitute that has a similar texture. 

Typically, we make veal stock by cooking a small amount of veal meat with some veal bones. We also add some spices and aromatics to the water to elevate the taste of the stock.

Best Veal Stock Substitutes

Let’s check out the best substitutes for your recipe.

1. Pork Stock

Many cooks consider pork stock to be the closest to veal. That’s because it has a mild flavor and a good amount of fat. 

On top of that, pork stock has a similar texture and taste to veal stock. However, you’ll still be able to tell the difference between the two, as pork has a less intense taste.

Additionally, one of the best things about pork stock is that it’s available in most grocery stores. Generally, pork stock is easier to find than veal stock.

In addition, pork stock is often less expensive than veal. All in all, it’s one of the best substitutes for veal stock.

2. Chicken Stock

Despite belonging to a distant species, chicken stock can work as a substitute for veal stock. You’d be surprised to know that it’s one of our favorite substitutes. 

Here’s why:

Firstly, it’s extremely easy to find. And secondly, it’s a healthier substitute for veal.

Although veal stock is incredibly tasty, it’s more on the unhealthy side. On the other hand, chicken stock has less fat and cholesterol, while being as delicious as veal.

You can easily make the stock at home. You’ll need chicken, onions, carrots, celery, and spices. After 1-2 hours of cooking, you’ll have a finger-licking stock. 

Of course, you’ll have to remove the chicken and veggies before using it.

The problem with chicken stock is that it doesn’t have the same taste as veal. Nonetheless, it can elevate the taste of any recipe.

Chances are you’re familiar with the taste and consistency of chicken stock, so you’ll have no problem using it in your recipe.

3. Turkey Stock

Turkey stock is another healthy veal stock substitute. Many cooks love repurposing leftover turkey bones after Thanksgiving.

Turkey stock isn’t hard to find in grocery stores. More importantly, it adds a lot of flavor to any recipe.

Although turkey and veal don’t have the same taste, it’s always best to pick the healthier option. Turkey has much less fat and cholesterol than veal.

Generally, red meat isn’t the best for your health.

4. Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is incredibly flavorful and can be a good alternative to veal in many recipes. It might not be as rich as veal stock, but it’s healthier and tastier.

Generally, vegetable stock is super easy to make. You can enhance the stock flavors using vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes.

You can elevate the taste of your vegetable stock even more by using spices like thyme, black peppercorns, and rosemary. You can also add celery stalks to the stock for some extra flavor.

All in all, it’s a healthy alternative stock.

Someone preparing vegetable stock

5. Chicken-Beef Stock

You can replace veal stock with a balanced chicken and beef meat stock. That can help you obtain a similar flavor to veal stock.

The mixture of chicken and beef has a little thickness to it. That makes it a good alternative to veal. In addition, the mixture is extremely flavorful and can fit well in most recipes.

The amount of beef and chicken stock you need depends on the recipe you’re creating. We recommend making a well-balanced mixture of both stocks to be on the safe side.

If you’re planning to make both stocks on your own, it’s best not to add a lot of seasonings. Adding too many flavorings to the stock mixture will alter its taste.

All in all, an under-flavored mixture is better than an over-flavored one as a substitute stock.

What Is the Most Suitable Veal Stock Substitute For Your Recipe?

The answer to this question depends on many factors. Let’s check them out.

1. Flavor Profile

When looking for a substitution for veal, you need to make sure it has a similar flavor profile. The substitute should serve the same purpose as the veal stock.

If you’re looking for a rich and savory taste, you can go for pork stock.

2. Recipe Compatibility

One of the most important factors you need to consider is substitute compatibility with the recipe you’re making. You need to check the rest of the ingredients and the overall taste of the recipe.

For example, some recipes can pair well with chicken flavors. Using pork stock for this recipe won’t be the best option.

Chicken and vegetable stock pair well with many recipes. You can consider them safe options if you don’t know which alternative to pick.

3. Texture

Veal stock has a highly rich texture. If the recipe depends on the veal’s rich texture, you’ll have to pick an alternative with a similar richness.

You can also consider using gelatin to boost the richness. 

Tips for Substituting Veal Stock

When looking for a suitable veal stock substitute, be sure to consider the following tips:

1. Taste Test and Adjust

One of the best ways to find a good alternative is by doing taste tests. 

You can prepare a small portion of your recipe with the available alternatives you have. Then, assess the flavor in each recipe and compare results. 

You can also take notes and adjust seasonings or stock concentrations to achieve the desired taste.

2. Go for the Healthier Option

Since you’ll be using another stock anyway, you might as well opt for a healthier one! 

Poultry and vegetable stock are healthier than veal.

3. Make Use of What You Have

Before running to the store, you should always check what you have in your freezer. You might end up finding some chicken stock that you forgot about.

Keep in mind that stock can last for around three months in the freezer and four days in the refrigerator.

4. Consider Using Meat Flavorings and Gelatin

Gelatin dissolved in water on a kitchen towel

Many spices and flavorings can make your stock taste similar to veal. Beef flavor cubes work best in this situation.

Additionally, if you want to mimic the texture of veal stock, you can use gelatin in small amounts. It’ll make your stock thicker.

5. Stock Up

The best way to never run out of veal stock is by saving veal osso buco, knuckle bones, and meaty neck bones when cooking.

It’s essential to wrap them up or put them in airtight containers in your freezer. You can also keep extra stock in the freezer for moments like this!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between veal stock and broth?

We make veal stock using cleaned bones. On the other hand, we make broth using meat alone or bones with meat still on them.

2. Does veal stock and broth taste the same?

No. Veal stock tends to be milder and has more richness and body when compared to broth. That’s because veal stock has higher amounts of gelatin, which comes from the bones.

3. Does veal stock have a strong flavor?

No. Veal has a deep but not overwhelming flavor. It’s mild, and it goes well with many ingredients.

That’s why it’s become a staple in many cuisines, especially French cuisine.

Wrapping Up

So, what’s the best veal stock substitute?

Many cooks believe that pork stock is the closest alternative to veal. It has a mild flavor and a similar richness. Additionally, it’s cheaper and easier to find than veal.

Chicken stock is a healthier alternative. Chances are you already have some chicken stock in your freezer right now.

Turkey stock is also healthy. It can enhance the flavors in your recipe. Overall, white meat is much healthier than red meat.

You can’t go wrong with vegetable stock. It’s simple and easy to prepare. Not to mention how it goes well with most ingredients.

Although it’s flavorful, it tends to lack the richness of veal. A chicken-beef stock mixture is one of the best alternatives for veal.