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Gluten Free Option Pairs Well With Local Lamb

Are you looking for a tasty gluten-free option that pairs well with meat? Take your lead from Italian cooking and try incorporating polenta into your meals.

What exactly is polenta?

For North Americans, the best likeness to polenta would be what the deep-south chefs refer to as grits. However, Polenta is made from a corn variety that grows in Italy known as flint corn.
Polenta is easy to make and just like grits when mixed with spices, butter and cheese – particularly parmesan cheese, is very tasty.

A 3.5-ounce portion of prepared Polenta contains only 15 grams of carbs, quite low when it comes to grains. If you’re gluten-free or maintaining a keto lifestyle, polenta becomes a pretty good option.
Polenta can be purchased pre-made (usually found in a roll) or as an uncooked grain.

This Bon Appetite recipe from 2013 combines the tastes and flavours of Italy that can be served to guests for a Sunday dinner, or a weekday meal.

Do you have a lamb recipe that you’d like to share? Send it to us c/o the Puslinch Today Facebook page – we’d love to include it in our cook books!

Valensbrae lamb shoulder with polenta

Lamb Shoulder with Polenta and Beans

Serves: 6

Pair with Chianti Classico

  • 1 3-lb. boneless lamb shoulder, boneless roast
  • 3 oz bacon, thick-cut
  • 2 cups basil, fresh leaves
  • 1 14-oz. can Cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (include some stems, where all the flavour is)
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, fresh leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 shallot, small
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup polenta, coarse
  • black pepper | Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili paste
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup Heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°.
Blend basil and oil in a food processor until smooth. Place lamb in a roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and rub with basil purée. Cover with foil, and cook until fork-tender, 3–3½ hours. Increase oven temperature to 500°. Remove foil and roast lamb until golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Let rest 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into a measuring cup and skim; set jus aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Mix thyme, shallot, garlic, polenta, cream, and 3 cups broth in a 13x9x2” baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake, without stirring, until polenta is softened and liquid is almost completely absorbed, 60–75 minutes. Thin polenta with more broth, if needed.

Bring sugar, vinegar, chili paste, 1 tsp. salt, and ⅓ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add half of leeks, reduce heat, and simmer until soft, 8–10 minutes. Drain; set leeks aside.
Wipe out saucepan. Cook bacon over medium heat until fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Add remaining uncooked leeks to saucepan and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8–10 minutes. Add beans, bacon, and reserved boiled leeks and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Untie lamb and thinly slice. Divide polenta among bowls. Top with lamb, beans, and herbs; drizzle with jus.

Valensbrae Sheep Farm – Pasture-raised Ontario lamb. Farm gate sales of lamb sold as individual cuts or by the whole or half lamb. Lamb will be available Easter 2019. In addition to Dorset & Shetland sheep, Valensbrae Farm has pot-bellied pigs, Red Sexlinks layers, honey bees and two llamas Ben & Jerry.

A family-run operation led by Ted Stark.

1527 Regional Road 97 | Puslinch | 905-659-7253 | [email protected]