• Mushroom Ragout & Polenta


An Earthy Mushroom Stew

By Andrew Zimmern

This wild mushroom ragout is incredibly versatile. You can serve it with a poached egg for a great lunch, as a rich gravy for grilled or roasted meat, on top of risotto and gnocchi, or with this creamy polenta for a hearty main course.

Mushroom Ragout & Polenta


The Ragout

  • 4 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms (porcini, shiitakes, cremini, chanterelles, morels, trumpets)
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 stem fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine
  • 2 cups rich veal or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon


  • 2 cups quick-cooking Savoie brand polenta
  • 5-7 cups chicken stock brought just to a boil
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


Servings: About 6

For the Mushroom Ragout

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Trim and wipe clean the mushrooms, do not wash with water.

Toss in the safflower oil, season with sea salt and place on a half-inch deep jelly roll pan fitted with a rack (I use a cake cooling grate). Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Reserve mushrooms and any accumulated juices separately.

Place a large sauté pan over high heat and add the butter. When foaming add the mushrooms and sauté until browned.

Add the herbs, shallots and garlic and sauté until cooked through.

Next, add the Madeira and bring to a boil, this will happen almost immediately.

Add the tomato puree, mushroom juices and stock. Reduce liquids at a simmer by 75 percent.

Season with salt and pepper, add the lemon zest and remove the rosemary stem.

Serve over portions of the polenta.

Make the Polenta

Sauté the onions in the oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat.

When the onions are glassy add 4 cups of the stock and then the polenta.

Stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes adding stock as needed until polenta has lost its sandy texture when rubbed between thumb and forefinger.

Lower heat a few notches. Stir in the cream and cheese.

Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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