Divide grilled polenta squares among shallow bowls and top with braised veal cheeks and cabbage leaves. This one will quickly become a favourite on the low and slow front.
- 4 veal or beef cheeks, trimmed
- 100 ml olive oil, plus extra, to grease
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry red wine
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 sprig each rosemary, sage and thyme, leaves picked, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 500 ml (2 cups) beef jus (see Note)
- 1 L chicken stock
- 4 red cabbage leaves, to serve
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 170 g (1 cup) instant polenta
- 40 g (½ cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match 2011 Dal Zotto Barbera, King Valley, Vic ($25)
Preheat oven to 160°C. Season veal cheeks with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based ovenproof pan over high heat, add veal and cook, turning, for 4 minutes or until browned all over. Remove and set aside.
Add wine to same pan and simmer rapidly for 4 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour into a jug and set aside.
Add remaining 80 ml oil to pan, then add onion, celery and carrot, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add herbs, garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return veal to pan with jus, stock and reduced wine. Cover, transfer pan to oven and bake for 4½ hours or until veal is meltingly tender.
Meanwhile, to make grilled polenta, lightly grease a 20 cm square pan and line with plastic wrap. Place milk and stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour in polenta in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until thick. Season, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, then spoon into lined pan. Smooth out surface and refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.
Remove veal from pan and set aside to keep warm. Place dish over high heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid has thickened.
Meanwhile, turn out polenta onto a clean board and cut into 4 pieces. Preheat a chargrill pan over medium–high heat and lightly grease. Cook polenta for 2 minutes each side or until charred and warmed.
Divide grilled polenta squares among shallow bowls and top with braised veal cheeks and cabbage leaves, Serve drizzled with reduced braising liquid.
• Beef jus is from select delis and specialist food shops. Substitute good-quality beef stock.
Photography Brett Stevens