This hearty mince and mushroom polenta bake makes a filling family meal. Polenta is made from cornmeal and is a useful ingredient for those on a gluten-free diet. You can make it into a soft porridge, for dishes such as this bake, and flavour it with herbs and cheese, or you can let the porridge set in a shallow tin, cut it into triangles and fry or bake. Or, you can use the dry grain instead of breadcrumbs for a crispy coating on pieces of fish, chicken and fish cakes. It also makes a good wheat-free, gluten free pizza base spread thinly in a circle on a baking tray.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 400g lean beef mince
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 100g open cap mushrooms, sliced
- 190g jar sun-dried tomato pesto
- 150ml beef stock
- 200g quick cook polenta
- 75g freshly grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3-4 mins, stirring, until softened. Add the minced beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 mins until browned.
Add the garlic and mushrooms, cook for 1 min then add the pesto and stock. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer for 10 mins, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly.
While the mince is simmering, bring 800ml water to the boil in a large saucepan. Drizzle in the polenta, stirring continuously at the same time, until the polenta has thickened and all the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and stir in half the grated Parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6. Pour half the polenta into a greased ovenproof dish and spread level with the back of a spoon. Spoon half the mince mixture over the top. Cover with the remaining polenta and finish with the remaining mince mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and bake for 20 mins. Serve hot.
Polenta makes a quick alternative to mashed potato. Once cooked beat in a knob of butter and some grated cheese. Delicious served with sausages and stews.