Braised Veal Cheeks Over Creamy Polenta
- 4 ounces raw bacon chopped
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup small-diced carrots
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 pounds assorted exotic mushrooms cleaned, sliced
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 4 cups veal stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 8 veal cheeks trimmed
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Add the onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the Madeira and cook for 1 minute. Add the veal stock, bay leaf, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.
Season the veal with salt and pepper and add the simmering liquid. Cook, uncovered until the cheeks are tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking.
In a medium-size saucepan, over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the cornmeal and cook until creamy and thick, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the veal mixture.
Spoon the polenta in the center of each serving plate. Lay a veal cheek over the polenta. Spoon the sauce over the cheeks. Garnish with the reserved crispy bacon and parsley.
This recipe yields 4 servings.