Tag Archives: mash

Grilled parmesan polenta

I’ve always been a big fan of polenta, especially when it is grilled. I was roasting a chicken for dinner and wanted to deviate from the usual baked vegetables – onions, garlic, potatoes.

Polenta can be served soft and gooey, almost like mashed potatoes, or it can be made beforehand, chilled to set and then cut into shapes and grilled/baked or even pan-fried so it’s crispy on the outside.

For me, if I want mash, make it potato please.

So parmesan polenta it was then.  Deliciously cheesy it’s just a lovely accompaniment to roasts especially ones that have yummy juices for the polenta to mop up.

Ingredients (to make enough as a side for 6)

  1. 3 cups chicken stock
  2. 1 1/4 cups polenta
  3. 3/4 cup grated parmesan, plus another 1/4 cup for baking)
  4. Nob of butter
  5. Olive oil for baking


  1. Bring the chicken stock to boil
  2. Add the polenta in a slow steady stream, whisking all the time
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, change to a wooden spoon and continue to stir for 3-5 minutes, until the polenta is soft
  4. Stir in 3/4 cup of parmesan and the butter
  5. Pour into a lined baking dish and smooth the top, let cool for 30 minutes before putting in the fridge to set for 3 hours
  6. Once set, preheat oven to 180C, remove from the dish, cut into shapes (I like thick rectangles), place in a single layer in the baking tray
  7. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top
  8. Pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown
  9. Serve hot and watch them disappear !

Bangers and mash with red wine onion gravy

Simple and great pub grub (although I do tend to use a lot of saucepans and frying pans…)

Ingredients (for two)

  1. 4 sausages – I like quite plain (ie less herby) sausages and favour English Cumberland sausages which I can easily get in my supermarket in normal sized sausage shapes (not the traditional long sausage in a coil)
  2. 2 large waxy potatoes, peeled
  3. 1 red onion, finely sliced
  4. 1/2 cup red wine
  5. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


  1. Start with the potatoes – put them in a pot filled with cold water and bring to boil (don’t add them to hot water or they will go mushy and cook unevenly).  Cook for 10-15 minutes until soft.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, gently sweat the onions in some butter and oil until soft and translucent.
  3. Fry the sausages in another frying pan in about 1cm of water, turning as they brown.  The water helps to cook the sausages more evenly and will evaporate by the time you want the sausages to caramelise.
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, strain and either mash them or for a super smooth mash, put them through a potato ricer, and add salt and butter to taste.  You can also add a splash of milk to make it even more creamy.  Cover and put aside to keep warm.
  5. Once the onions are soft, turn the heat up to high and add the red wine and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to boil for about 2-3 minutes so the alcohol evaporates.  Add more or less wine or balsamic to taste.
  6. Plate up.  I like to put a generous amount of mash on the plate first, place the sausage on top, and then ladle the gravy over both.
  7. Of course you can serve them with any vegetables you want eg portabello mushrooms or broccoli for something green.