Polenta Sliders with Mushroom Ragout

Polenta Sliders with Mushroom Ragout

While I work, I am often thinking (fantasizing, whatever) about food. Sometimes, I try to come up with ideas of things I can make with ingredients I have on hand.  Sometimes, often after I get excited about something to make, I realize I don't actually have the ingredients on hand that I thought I did. Those times do not rock. This however, was not one of those times. I was planning on make polenta fingers topped with sauteed mushrooms for dinner, but then I remembered I had a half pound of grass-fed beef I needed to cook. I could have taken the easy way out and make a burger patty, and served it with the polenta and mushrooms, but that's not fun. So, while calculating profitability and financial comparisons across reported years, I decided to make a slider on a polenta cake. Same components, sure, but don't tell me a slider isn't WAY more fun than a lame patty and polenta!

The polenta is just chicken stock and polenta, with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  I patted it into an 8x8 pan, let it cool, and then cut it into rounds with a cutter. Then, after brushing with olive oil, I put them under the broiler to crisp up and brown a bit.

The grass-fed beef just got a bit of the last steak seasoning blend I mixed, then were pan-fried until medium-rare.

The mushrooms, both crimini and button, were sauteed in butter and olive oil until browned and a little crisp. Then I added in diced shallots, garlic, and fresh thyme and tarragon. After the shallot softened, I added red wine, and reduced it down.  I finished it off with fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, and cracked pepper.

To put them together, I put the polenta rounds on a plate, and topped them with grated Jarlsberg cheese.  Then the burgers went on top, and I covered those with the mushrooms.  Fresh grated parmesan went on top, then a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Not only are these pretty and fun, but they are actually really good! I like the polenta, it's a nice change from bun-less burgers. And the mushrooms, with their red wine reduction, are happy. I might have to try this again with caramelized onions and blue cheese!

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