Picture yourself in the swiss alps standing on the balcony watching the sunset and the most picturesque scenery. But after the 3rd day of fondue, you're looking for something lighter, something that doesn't make your consciousness want to hike up a 2000m peak the next day to work off those love handles, but should still carry a flavor punch. So what to make? Salad? nah.. Steak?
As much as enjoy good quality meat from time to time (check out the kobe beef experience), I try to reduce my weekly meat consumption. This does definitely not mean that you have to cut back on any flavor! Commonly, mushrooms are a suitable alternative to add chewiness and intensity to your dishes. So while I was in the mountains I tried this twist of a "beef bourgignon" that uses a variety of mushrooms in a red wine sauce and combines it with a very creamy polenta. Polenta, made out of cornmeal, is so amazing because of its simplicit. If done right, it is the perfect side dish to serve any sauce one. It will soak up your flavors and enhance it to round up a perfect plate.
Ingredients (for 3-4)
- 500mL of water
- 500mL of milk (soy for vegan)
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 150g Cornmeal (fine grind)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 large onion diced
- Mushroom mix (i used chanterelle and champignons)
- 1 Tbsp dried italian herbs
- 180mL vegetable broth
- 120mL red wine
- 1 tsp corn starch
- butter/vegan butter
- handful of nuts or almonds as crunchy topping
1. First, sautée mushrooms with onions in olive oil (add vegan/butter). Cook until all water has dissolved and they start to brown (flavooor).
Add the garlic and and the herbs and then the red wine. (should just about cover everything)
2. Then, make the Polenta by mixing the water and the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then slowly but steadily pour in the corn meal while constantly stirring the mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cover (watch the hot polenta bubling out) for 10-15 min with the occasional stir until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. While your polenta is cooking, combine the hot broth with corn starch and add to the mushroom mix. Now let it simmer until it has reduced to a nice thick sauce. Salt and Pepper to taste.
4. Chop and roast your nuts to add amazing crispness.
5. Finally add some (vegan)butter (or skip this step) to the polenta and serve it. First plate the polenta, then add the redwine mushroom and sprinkle some chives and the roasted nuts on top.