Mushroom Ragú over Parmegiano-Reggiano Crusted Polenta
2 cups Vegetable Stock
Pinch of Salt
1 cup Polenta
2 TB Unsalted Butter
1 cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano; Divided
1 oz Dried Porcini Mushrooms (1 pkg)
10 oz Cremini Mushrooms (AKA: Italian Brown or “Baby Bellas”)
6 oz Assorted Wild Mushrooms (Wood Ear, King Bolete, Lobster, King Oyster, Chanterelle, or more Cremini)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Leek; chopped
1 Shallot; chopped
3 Garlic Cloves; minced
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp Fresh Thyme; chopped
2 tsp Fresh Oregano; chopped
1/2 cup Flat-Leaf Parlsey, finely chopped
1 TB Balsamic Vinegar
Bring Stock and Salt to a simmer and slowly sprinkle the Polenta over the surface, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 15-18 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in Butter and 3/4 cup of the Parmegiano-Reggiano.
Pour into a greased 9x9 square baking pan and smooth the mixture.
Refrigerate while making the Mushroom Ragú
Soak your porcini mushrooms in 1/3 cup Boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain them, but reserve 1/3 of the liquid, and dry the mushrooms.
Thick slice the Creminis and coarsely chop the Wild Mushrooms. (multiple textures to the ragú)
Heat 1/3 cup of the oil in a sauté pan and add all the mushrooms.
Cook for 4-5 minutes then remove from pan and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté shallot and leeks for 2 minutes.
Add the reserved mushroom soak liquid, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and oregano and bring everything back to a simmer (About 2 minutes)
Return the Mushroom mixture to the sauté pan along with Parsley and Balsamic Vinegar and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt (I like Alder Smoked) and remove the Bay leaf.
Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Remove Polenta from refrigerator and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmegiano-Reggiano.
Place pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is melted and lightly browned)
Cut the Polenta slab into 4 pieces or strips whichever you desire, and serve Ragú over the top.
Pairs Well With
You can use Instant polenta if you wish. Just follow the directions on the back of the package, then stir in the Parm & Butter at the end. You only need 1/3 cup of the Mushroom soaking liquid, but please, save the remainder for something else. It can be frozen if you wish. Definitely a quick and easy way to add flavor.