Mushroom Ragú over Parmegiano-Reggiano Crusted Polenta
Why I Love This Recipe
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.
Ingredients You'll Need
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.