Thursday, 24 January 2008

Piedmontese Hashed Beef with Polenta

Tonite was leftover night. I was working late, Kels was editing a video and our freezer is getting hard to negotiate. We've been getting a UK Organic box from Grow Wild. For the past two weeks it's been cabbages, neeps, beetroot and the occasional leek, carrot, or parsnip.

This recipe from Marcella Hazan's Italian Kitchen was a good way to use up all the cabbage we have.

I made a big batch of this last week, we ate two dinner's worth then, and froze the rest. We had enough leftover for another two dinners this week. Marcella recommends you serve this over a bowl of polenta or, boiled rice. I prefer polenta. I'm including a scaled down version of her recipe for polenta from the same book here.


For 6 to 8 persons

1/4 pound pancetta, chopped very fine to a creamy consistency
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs butter
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped very fine or mashed
2 pounds beef mince, coarsely ground
2 pounds Savoy cabbage, shredded into thin strips
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1-1/2 cups red wine
black pepper in a grinder

  1. Choose a large, lidded saute pan. Put in the pancetta, oil, butter and garlic. Turn on the heat to medium high and, leaving the pan uncovered, saute the garlic until it becomes colored a pale brown.
  2. Add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, and brown it well over high heat.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage, bay leaves, cloves and fennel seeds. Continue cooking over high heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, stir, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Season with salt and grindings of pepper and serve.

For 3 servings

3.5 cups water
3.5 oz. polenta
black pepper

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Pour the polenta in the water in a steady stream while whisking to avoid any lumps.
  3. turn the heat to low and stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 30-35 minutes. Make sure to stir at the edges of the saucepan to avoid the polenta catching. You'll find after about 20 minutes that the mixture has thickened. A sign of it being ready is that as you stir it pulls away from the pan.
  4. season with grindings of fresh black pepper and serve immediately in shallow bowls.

1 comment:

SallyAnn said...

Anticipating, preparing and eating this dish is a truly sensual and satisfying experience.