food for thought

by michelle

cavolo nero polenta with beef cheek ragu

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A great way to eat greens, this polenta recipe appears in River Cafe Cook Book Two by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers.


Beef cheeks: In some olive oil over high heat sear the beef cheeks briefly and remove them to a plate. Lower the heat and add a little more olive oil, some diced onion, garlic, carrots and celery and 1 bay leaf and cook until the onions are soft. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for a few minutes before adding ½ a cup of red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes then return the beef cheeks to the pot and season to taste. Cover and cook over low heat until soft and falling apart, adding a little water from time to time if necessary (this may take 2 – 3 hours).

Polenta: Boil a large pot of water and add some salt. Peel 4 large cloves of garlic and wash 8 heads of cavolo nero, discarding the stems and tough outer leaves. Blanch the cavolo nero with the garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain, pulse/chop in a food processor, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and set aside. Pour 1¼ – 1½ litres (2 – 2½ pints) of well seasoned chicken stock into a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. It should come halfway up the sides. Measure 250g (9 oz) of polenta into a jug with a good spout then, while whisking constantly, pour the polenta into the stock in a continuous steady stream making sure that no lumps form. When the polenta bubbles reduce the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it pulls away from the sides of the pan (this can take 40-45 minutes unless you opt for instant polenta). Stir in 200g (7 oz) of unsalted butter, 150g (5 oz) of finely grated parmesan and the cavolo nero.


Written by michelle picker

October 29, 2015 at 5:57 am

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