Wednesdays with Donna Hay: Beef Ragu with Creamy Polenta~

31 01 2015

I don’t know if I can keep up with 2 groups…but I’m trying!  Donna Hay is a new chef to me…but I love the recipes I’ve been reading.  I’ve joined up with some very nice ladies cooking at Wednesdays with Donna Hay…They’re cooking out of an assortment of Donna Hay materials, thankfully….some from her website too!  The dish for Wednesday, February 4th is Sarah’s pick,  Slow Cooked Beef Ragu.

DH-BeefRagu2

I had to make a couple changes….  There is no beef brisket right now.  Not without buying a huge hunk o’ beef…  I’m thinking that St. Patrick’s Day is about 6 weeks away…corned beef is in the brine…so no brisket.  I’m not usually daunted by not having THE specific cut of beef, and I didn’t let it stop me this time either.  I had a cross rib roast in the fridge, so cross rib would work.   I cut it down to approximate the size of brisket so it would cook right, and that was that.  I was good to go until we got to the polenta part…  Instant polenta?  No….doggone it.  So, I hunted down a creamy polenta recipe using standard polenta and blended the recipes.  What I ended up with was a bit too soft, but ever so creamy regardless!!  It got soft but firm after it set about 45 minutes, but by then…we’d polished off our servings.  The polenta is a nice change from potatoes and even substitutes for bread as well.

DH-BeefRagu1

Personally…. I’m betting this is going to be even better tomorrow.  It strikes me as one of those type of dishes.  A lot of French casserole recipes that are slow cooked suggest putting the dish into the refrigerator after cooling and serving the next day.  I’m thinking by tomorrow the meat will pull all those flavors deep inside and it’ll make another wonderful supper sometime this week when I’m getting tuckered.  I can make the polenta again and see if I can do it better a second time!

Would I make this again?  You bet.  I’ll try to get back and update after we have the re-runs.  Ooh…yes…and with hot buttermilk biscuits and a salad…  Too bad I already have plans for tomorrow…but it sure won’t be the usual Super Bowl fare!  I’ll be stepping back to the recipes from Whisk Wednesday to roast a chicken with kielbasa and cabbage.  This comfort food is perfect for February…if we were having typical February weather!  It was 70+ outside today.  Loving it, but praying for rain and a snow pack!

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2 responses

16 03 2015
teaandscones

Isn’t roasted beef ALWAYS better the next day after all the flavors have melded together. Brisket is a hunk of change here so I would have used a different cut as well. Too bad I found a roast in the freezer AFTER we had already done this one. Looks great with the polenta!!

4 02 2015
Kayte

Oh, your ragu looks fabulous! This was the perfect dish for here this week as we are very cold temperature-wise…unlike your wonderful temperatures in California! Just the sort of slow comforting food for this time of year. I had to laugh at you not keeping up with two groups…hey, if you could keep up with Whisk Wednesdays, you can certainly keep up with this group! Remember our Whisk days…those recipes would take hours and hours sometimes. Fun memories of fun times. Anyway, I know you will enjoy most weeks at WWDH and EwE! Remember, you don’t have to do them all, but it is fun when you do! You are right, this recipe is going to be even better on a re-run leftover as the flavors will deepen. I could not find instant polenta either but the other worked out just fine and it was my first time making polenta! Love your photo.

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