Saturday, August 26, 2017

POLENTA AND MEAT SAUCE (AKA POLENTA LASAGNA)


In Southern Brazil we have a huge European influence, so this recipe might not be too odd in European circles, but here in the US I'm yet to see somebody else make this dish! At least in my circle!

POLENTA CASSAROLE (AKA POLENTA LASAGNA IN MY HOUSE) 

INGREDIENTS:

For the polenta:
8 cups water
2 cups polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)
1 Tbs. salt
For the sauce:
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef 
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano seasoning 
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of water

1/2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese (or any other cheese blend)



DIRECTIONS:
The meat sauce is fairly easy to make.  Sauté the onions first and then garlic with the olive oil until transparent.  Add the beef and brown it.  Then add the seasonings and tomato paste and add water (you could use stock if you prefer) to make the sauce (more or less 1/2 cup). You don't want the sauce too watery nor too thick, so add it little by little. Let it rest until polenta is done ( I like to make the sauce first because if the polenta cools down too much it will thicken and not work as well).

To make the polenta, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Dribble the cornmeal into the water in a very thin, steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Add the salt. When the polenta begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot, 30 to 40 minutes (I personally like mine a bit softer than this, so I usually add a bit more water).

Add some of the sauce into an 8x8 casserole dish (this first layer is very minimal, just so the polenta doesn't stick to the bottom of the cassarole), then add one layer of hot polenta on top.  Then again one more of sauce, then cheese, then polenta.  The last layer is just meat sauce and cheese. Sprinkle a bit of additional oregano and enjoy! If you want to, you can always place it in the oven to melt the cheese, but usually for me the polenta is still so hot that it melts right away. 

Such an easy recipe and very delicious.  If you're a fan of casseroles, you will love this one! Let me know when you try it! I wanna know how it turned out!

Any polenta that is left can be put in a square container, just wet the bottom of the dish for the polenta not to stick, cover and store it in the fridge.  The next day you can cut it in slices and fry it shallow olive oil - or in the oven. Top it with cheese and oregano! Yum! 


1 comment:

  1. Best dish for the children to have a good diet. POLENTA AND MEAT SAUCE (AKA POLENTA LASAGNA) is quite easy to make and i will make this now

    ReplyDelete