Beef Ragu with Grilled Polenta

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves 4


  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20g butter
  • 1 cup (170g) polenta
  • 1 large brown onion chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry red wine
  • ½ cup ( 40g) finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup (70g) tomato paste
  • 1kg beef chuck steak, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 200g button mushrooms


  1. Place the water and salt in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, stirring constantly, about 20 minutes or until polenta thickens. Stir in cheese and egg yolk. Spread polenta mixture into oiled deep 19cm – square cake pan; press firmly to ensure even thickness. When cool, cover; refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Meanwhile toss beef in flour; shake off excess. Cut off and discard rind from bacon; coarsely chop bacon. Trim mushroom stems; halve mushrooms.
  3. Heat oil in large heavy – based saucepan; cook beef, in batches, stirring, until browned all over.
  4. Heat butter in same pan; cook onion, garlic, bacon and mushrooms, stirring, until onion softens. Return beef with any juices to pan. Add wine, stock, paste, mustard and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered about 1¼ hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn polenta onto board; trim edges. Cut polenta into four squares; cut each square in half diagonally.
  6. Cook polenta triangles on heated oiled grill plate (or grill or barbeque) until browned both sides.
  7. Serve ragu over polenta triangles.

TIP Shaking beef with the flour inside a plastic seal locked bag guarantees even coating.

Can serve the ragu with rice instead of the polenta.