Beef Ragu over Polenta



Trying to keep up my culinary momentum since last weekend’s blizzard cook-a-thon, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve made polenta. Polenta is something most people shy away from, but this microwaved version – the brainchild of Barbara Kafka, is easy to make. Creamy polenta topped off with braised beef and tomatoes is perfect cold weather fare. 

For the beef:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef rump roast
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, pour in olive oil. Add rump roast and brown for 5 to 7 minutes on both sides.
  2. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, beef broth, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, then place in oven.
  3. Roast for 3 hours, until meat is falling apart.

The polenta:

  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup yellow or white cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine water, cornmeal, and kosher salt in a large bowl, cook on high in a microwave oven, uncovered for 6 minutes. Whisk, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes more. Remove from oven, stir in butter and pepper. Let sit for three minutes.
  2. Spoon the polenta into a bowl, top with shredded meat, spoon some of the diced tomatoes on top. Makes six servings.
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