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Braised Veal Cheeks


    • 5 pounds veal cheeks , trimmed of silver skin
    • 2 cups red wine, Cabernet
    • 1½ cups Madeira
    • 2 cups rich veal stock
    • 2½ cups finely chopped onions
    • 1½ cups finely chopped celery
    • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
    • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup water
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • Creamy pumpkin polenta (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
In a large, ovenproof Dutch oven heat oil over high heat until almost smoking.

Season the meat with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Sear meat in hot oil, in batches if necessary, until well browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining onion, carrot and celery to the pan along with the and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft and beginning to caramelize.

Add remaining garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add red wine, Madeira and veal stock. Bring to a boil, skim any foam off top of liquid, and add water, tomato paste, and return to a boil.

Add meat and any accumulated juices, stir well, cover tightly, and place in the oven.

Cook for 4½ to 5 hours, undisturbed, or until cheeks are very tender.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve over hot polenta.

Pumpkin Polenta

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cups minced onion
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
    • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 cups polenta
    • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • Salt

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, sage and garlic and sweat for 3 minutes until vegetables are translucent and aromatic. Add chicken stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Whisk in polenta and reduce heat to low. Mix in the pumpkin puree. Cook over a low heat, stirring every couple of minutes until desired thickness.

Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream, cheese and butter, and season with salt and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Le Quebecois Grain-fed Veal and Marx Foods


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