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    Theo Randall's Beef and Porcini stew with wet polenta

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    Theo Randall's Beef and Porcini stew with wet polenta

    • Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours

    Serves: 8


    70g dried porcini mushrooms 
    2kg braising steak, cut into 2cm cubes 
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    5 celery sticks, finely chopped 
    1 clove garlic, sliced
    3 small red onions, finely chopped 
    1 tbsp chopped rosemary
    2 x 400g cans chopped Italian
    plum tomatoes
    375ml Chianti Classico


    750ml water 
    200g polenta
    50g unsalted butter
    50g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Put the porcini in a small bowl, cover with 150ml boiling water and leave to soak.

    2 Season the beef well with salt and pepper. Heat a flameproof casserole, then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the beef (in batches) and sear on all sides. As each batch is browned, remove and set aside. 

    3 Add the remaining olive oil to the casserole with the celery, garlic, onions and rosemary. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. 

    4 Remove the soaked mushrooms and add to the pan. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine sieve (to ensure there is no grit) into the casserole. Boil to reduce the liquid by half, then add the chopped tomatoes and wine. Bring to a simmer. 

    5 Return the beef to the casserole. Cover with greaseproof paper and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours, until the stew is thick and the meat tender. 

    6 For the polenta, bring the water to a simmer, add salt, whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring, on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the polenta comes away from the sides of the pan. Add the butter and cheese and stir vigorously. 

    7 Check the seasoning before serving hot, with the wet polenta. 

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