Herb polenta with pork ragù


Here is a fabulous way of enjoying your favourite meat sauce, served over polenta instead of traditional pasta.

The trick for having soft and creamy polenta? Use the liquid to polenta ratio I suggest, and add a bit of milk at the very end of cooking. Polenta doesn’t wait: serve it as soon as it is ready. You will have the creamiest and the tastiest polenta around.

For the polenta:

1.25 liter (5 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
250 ml (1 cup) polenta
various herbs, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, sage, one handful
125 ml 1/2 cup full fat milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 handfuls grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a stockpot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the polenta gradually, in a steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce to the lowest setting possible (and use a diffuser if you have one) and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes.

2. Add the herbs, the milk, the butter and the cheese and stir to combine. Continue cooking over low heat for another five minutes.

3. Taste and correct seasonings by adding salt and pepper if needed. Serve at once with the ragù.

 

For the pork ragù:

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
50 g (2 oz) pancetta, cubed
1 onion
1 carrot
1/2 fennel bulb, cored
2 cloves garlic
450 g (1 pound) lean ground pork
250 ml (1 cup) dry red or white wine
1 bottle passata
chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cut the onion, carrot, fennel and garlic in large chunks and put in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped very fine. Transfer to a heavy bottom pot over medium heat and cook in the olive oil, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the pancetta and continue to cook for a few minutes.

3. Add the pork and cook until the meat has lost its raw appearance, a few more minutes.

4. Add the wine and reduce by half.

5. Add the passata and a bit of chicken broth, the bay leaf, the rosemary, the nutmeg, the milk, salt and pepper and cook, uncovered, until thick, about two hours. Taste and correct seasonings.

6. Serve immediately over the warm polenta.

Herb polenta with pork ragù

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