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    Italian Beef Stew with Polenta Dumplings

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    Italian Beef Stew with Polenta Dumplings

    To save time, buy roasted peppers from the delicatessen counter - the skins will peel off very easily.

    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 200g polenta
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2tbsp Waitrose Olive Oil
    • 2 onions, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
    • 1tbsp plain flour
    • 2 x 400g cans Waitrose Chopped Tomatoes
    • 3 peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced into ribbons
    • 1.5kg beef casserole steak, cut into large cubes, if you wish
    • 2tsp chopped fresh oregano
    • 4tbsp Waitrose Fresh Pesto Sauce, mixed with 3tbsp Waitrose Olive Oil

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2.
    2. Heat 600ml water in a large pan until simmering. Pour in the polenta, season and stir well with a wooden spoon. Cook for about minutes or until the polenta thickens. Tip onto a plate and leave until cool enough to handle.
    3. Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onions and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes until slightly softened but do not brown.
    4. Sprinkle the flour in and stir well until all the excess oil has been absorbed, then add 200ml cold water, a little at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the tomatoes, pepper ribbons and beef cubes. Season well, add the oregano and bring to a simmer.
    5. Use your hands to shape the warm polenta into 8 'dumplings'. Place on top of the casserole. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours.
    6. Check seasoning and drizzle the pesto sauce over the dumplings just before serving.

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