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Baked Polenta with Beef and Sausage Ragu

This baked polenta dish is made with a rich and flavourful beef and sausage ragu then is topped with creamy polenta and baked in the oven. A delicious comfort food dish to keep you warm this winter.

This time of year is all about comfort food, easy, delicious, hearty food that keeps you feeling cozy when it’s bitterly cold outside and this baked polenta and beef and sausage ragu does exactly that. Polenta is so easy to make, it’s creamy and smooth and can be eaten as it is or left to go firm then grilled or baked.

Beef and sausage ragu with baked polenta on top in an oval baking dish

I love a big bowl of creamy and comforting polenta with a stew that’s been simmering away all afternoon. You can add any good melting cheese to polenta with butter and it tastes pretty much like heaven and it’s a great alternative to mashed potatoes.

For this recipe, I made the polenta with parmesan and butter then poured it into a baking tray to firm up. I then cut it into rounds and added it on top of an insanely delicious beef and sausage ragu.

It’s baked in the oven which creates a lovely crunchy, crust on top of the baked polenta yet keeping it soft and creamy on the inside. The ragu is rich and delicious and goes perfectly with the polenta on top.

How to make Beef and Sausage Ragu

Finely chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Add everything apart from the garlic to a large pan with the olive oil and saute gently for around 6-7 minutes until the veg is soft but not browned.

Add the beef mince, sausage meat removed from their skins and garlic to the pan and brown the meat. If a lot of fat comes out of the sausages, spoon some of the excess out.

Once browned add the wine and let it reduce by half. Then add the passata/pureed tomatoes with a couple tbsp of water and a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir the ragu so everything is combined and let it simmer gently, covered for 1 and a half to 2 hours. If the sauce reduces too much top it up with a little water.

Step by step instructions for how to make beef and sausage ragu wth baked polenta

How To Make Baked Polenta

While the ragu is simmering, make the polenta.

Bring 4 cups (1 litre) of water to a boil, add a good pinch of salt to the water. Pour the polenta into the water whilst constantly stirring. Turn the heat down to medium/low and keep stirring until the polenta becomes thick and smooth.

Turn off the heat and add the butter and parmesan cheese, stir it into the polenta until melted. Check if it needs more seasoning and add accordingly.

Pour the polenta onto a large baking tray and smooth it out. Let it cool then place in the fridge until the ragu is ready.

When the ragu is ready, preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.

Transfer the ragu to a large baking dish. Remove the polenta from the fridge and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or glass or cut it into strips and place them on top of the ragu.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The polenta will be slightly crunchy on top and the ragu bubbling, let it cool for 5 minutes then serve.

Step by step instructions for how to make a ragu wth baked polenta

More Comfort Food Meals To Try;

Baked polenta with sausage and beef ragu in a baking dish

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5 from 7 votes
Print
Baked Polenta with Beef and Sausage Ragu
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 

A rich and flavourful beef and sausage ragu topped with creamy polenta and baked in the oven. A delicious comfort food dish to keep you warm this winter.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 - 6 people
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Emily Kemp
Ingredients
For the ragu
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15 oz (430g) beef mince
  • 2 Italian sausages ,not spicy
  • 3 1/4 cups (750g) pureed tomatoes/passata
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
  • salt and pepper ,to season
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
For the polenta
  • 1 cup (165g) fast action polenta
  • 4 cups (1 litre) water
  • salt
  • 1.7 oz (50g) butter
  • 1 tbsp parmesan ,freshly grated
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Add everything apart from the garlic to a large pan with the olive oil and saute gently for around 6-7 minutes until the veg is soft but not browned.
  2. Add the beef mince, sausage meat removed from their skins and garlic to the pan and brown the meat. If a lot of fat comes out of the sausages, spoon some of the excess out.
  3. Once browned add the wine and let it reduce by half. Then add the passata/pureed tomatoes with a couple tbsp of water and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the ragu so everything is combined and let it simmer gently, covered for 1 and a half to 2 hours. If the sauce reduces too much top it up with a little water.
  5. While the ragu is simmering, make the polenta.
  6. Bring 4 cups (1 litre) of water to a boil, add a good pinch of salt to the water. Pour the polenta into the water whilst constantly stirring. Turn the heat down to medium/low and keep stirring until the polenta becomes thick and smooth.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parmesan cheese, stir it into the polenta until melted. Check if it needs more seasoning and add accordingly.
  8. Pour the polenta onto a large baking tray and smooth it out. Let it cool then place in the fridge until the ragu is ready.
  9. When the ragu is ready preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.
  10. Transfer the ragu into a large baking dish. Remove the polenta from the fridge and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or glass or cut it into strips and place them on top of the ragu.

  11. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The polenta will be slightly crunchy on top and the ragu bubbling, let it cool for 5 minutes then serve.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Marlee Brady
    December 8, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    This is the ultimate comfort food for dinner!!! Making this asap!

  • Reply
    Meredith Kauffman
    December 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    This looks like such a delicious and comforting recipe for cold winter nights!

  • Reply
    Silvia
    December 8, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Great recipe! I haven’t seen polenta presented this way. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Shashi at Savory Spin
    December 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Oh my word! This looks amazing! I’ve never tried making polenta – it looks so scrumptious – so melt in your mouth good!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    December 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I really love the look of this! All my favourite flavours in one simple dish. I have to try it soon!

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    December 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    What a deliciously comforting dish! I’ve never really used polenta that much but that is something I want to change in 2018

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      December 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Polenta is a great alternative to mashed potatoes if you feel like something different and it’s delicious. Thanks Bintu.

  • Reply
    April
    December 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This looks amazing and it instantly made me hungry! This reminds me of grit cakes. My kind of comfort food. So simple to make too! I make a similar dish but I use grits.

  • Reply
    Lynn | The Road to Honey
    December 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Polenta is such a comforting food to eat and oh-so-perfect at this time of year when the temperatures start to take a dip. Loving that you draped it over that cozy stew. I’m imaging having a nice big bowl while sitting in front of the fireplace.

  • Reply
    Julia
    December 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve never tried baking polenta myself but it looks pretty straight forward. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    December 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I love that you made your polenta rounds from scratch and didn’t simply cut them from that plastic-wrapped tube at the store! This looks lovely!

  • Reply
    chris
    December 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    This really is the ultimate comfort food!! Love the step by step pics as well, can’t wait to give it a go! Thanks for sharing, Emily 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

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