• Madeira Braised Veal Cheeks With Creamy Polenta

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    • 5 lb veal cheeks
    • 2 c. red wine
    • 2 c. Madeira
    • 2 1/2 c. finely-minced onions
    • 1 1/2 c. finely-minced celery
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
    • 2 x bay leaves
    • 2 sprg fresh rosemary
    • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
    • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt Freshly-grnd black pepper to taste
    • 1 c. finely-minced carrots
    • 1 c. water
    • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
    • 1 1/2 tsp Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper or possibly more to taste Creamy Polenta II (see recipe)


    1. Using a very sharp knife, trim the extra fat and the tough silverskin from the veal cheeks. You should have approximately 3 pounds of cleaned meat remaining.
    2. Transfer the cheeks to a large non-reactive bowl or possibly casserole and add in 1 c. of red wine, 1 c. of the Madeira, 1/2 c. of the onions, 1/2 c. of the celery, 1/2 Tbsp. of the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and peppercorns. Stir gently to blend and make sure which the wine covers the meat, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill overnight or possibly at least 8 hrs.
    3. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
    4. In a large, ovenproof Dutch-oven or possibly rondeau, heat oil over high heat till almost smoking. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry, and season on both sides with some of the salt and pepper. Sear meat in warm oil, in batches if necessary, till well browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
    5. Add in remaining onion and celery to the pan along with the carrots and cook for about 6 min, stirring frequently, till vegetables are very soft and beginning to caramelize. Add in remaining garlic and cook 2 min.
    6. Strain the marinade and add in to pan along with remaining red wine and Madeira. (Throw away vegetables). Bring to a boil, skim any foam off top of liquid, and add in water, tomato paste, Essence, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper, and return to a boil.
    7. Add in meat and any accumulated juices, stir well, cover tightly, and place in the oven. Cook for 4 1/2 to 5 hrs, undisturbed, or possibly till cheeks are very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve over warm polenta.
    8. This recipe yields 6 servings.

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