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The Gear I Use To Sharpen My Knives:
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This is my take on a recipe by my favorite chef Jacques Pepin. This is Polenta With Venison Meatballs And Mushroom Ragout. This recipe can be either French or Italian in nature. This recipe comes from Lyon, France where Jacques Pepin is from. I am going to make this dish in the Italian way. In Jacques recipe he adds corn and tomatoes and in my recipe I am not. I will be adding venison meatballs and basil to the ragout. Enjoy!
Ingredients For Venison Meatballs
1 to 1 1/2 Lb ground venison meat.
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil to add fat content if needed
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste.
Garlic granules to taste.
We want to use flavor enhancers the flavor of the venison but we don’t want to overtake the flavor of the venison.
Mix all the ingredients into the venison.
Make meatballs any size you want.
Add some olive oil to a skillet and cook your meatballs until done.
Set aside covered.
Ingredients For Polenta:
4 cups chix stock I am using here
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tsp. teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients For The Mushroom Ragout:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
5 ounces mushrooms (cultivated, wild, or a combination), trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan or other Italian cheese to taste(OPTIONAL)
Some fresh basil leaves either finely chopped or whole added 1-2 mins before serving.
FOR THE RAGOUT
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan.
When they are hot, add the onion and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat for about 2 minutes.
You want the liquid to come out of the mushrooms and evaporate.
Add your garlic and 1/2 chix stock, salt and black pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium/medium low and simmer 2-3 minutes.
Take off of heat and set aside covered.
FOR THE POLENTA
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Sprinkle the cornmeal on top while mixing it in with a whisk, and stir in the salt and pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
Cover with a lid to prevent splattering, and cook gently for 6 to 8 minutes.
Stir occasionally until the polenta is cooked and is creamy.
Set aside, covered.
To serve, ladle the polenta into the center of a bowl or soup plate.
Add one or more meatballs.
Ladle or spoon the mushroom ragout on top of and around the polenta and meatballs.
Sprinkle with Italian cheese of choice and optional light drizzle of cream and serve.