- 4 ounces raw bacon, chopped
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup small diced carrots
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 pounds assorted exotic mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 4 cups veal stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 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.
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