(WTNH) - Ground Meat and Creamy Corn Pie
For the Meat Layer:
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ lb pancetta, finely diced
½ cup chopped onion, about 1 small onion
½ cup chopped scallions, about 2
½ cup chopped carrots, about 1 small carrot
½ cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks
1 tablespoon chopped garlic, about 2 cloves
1 ¼ lb ground beef
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
½ cup tomato paste (or one 6 oz can)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the Corn Layer:
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow corn meal (dry Polenta)
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups yellow sharp cheddar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
7 X 11 baking dish (glass or porcelain)
Make the Meat Layer:
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium to high heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly crispy, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, scallions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the ground beef to the pan and using the wooden spoon break the meat into tiny bits until completely cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, milk, and water. Stir gently and cook, partly covered, for one hour over low heat. You are looking for a Bolognese sauce, a little thicker then the one you would use for Spaghetti Bolognese, since this will be served in a pie dish. On the other hand, you don't want to let the liquid evaporate so much that it dries out. Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with the fresh parsley. Transfer meat sauce to the baking dish, spread with a spatula, and cool at room temperature. Meanwhile, place the corn in the bowl of a food processor and puree into a smooth paste. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over low heat. Add the cornmeal and mix until the polenta becomes slightly wet. Add the pureed corn and stir over low heat until it looks like a coarse meal, about 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a large bowl. Add the baking powder and mix well. Add the sour cream and 1 cup of the cheese, mixing with a wooden spoon, a spatula, or with your hands and mash everything together until it forms a dough. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375-F. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin or your hands to make the dough into a rectangle, about the size of the baking dish. Carefully lift the dough with your hands and place it on top of the baking dish, making sure the meat layer is all covered. If the corn batter breaks when transferred just patch it together with your fingers (if you want a perfect topping, open the corn paste onto a parchment paper and invert it onto the meat layer, then peel the paper off). Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake the pie in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes: For the corn kernels, you can use either fresh, frozen, or canned corn. If you use fresh corn, you will need about 4-5 ears of corn. Cook them first (simply place them in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes) then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife using a sawing motion over a bowl. Discard the cob.
If you use frozen corn, make sure to let it come to room temperature. If you use canned corn, make sure to drain the water. One 8 oz can will yield 1 cup of corn kernels.
Recipe: The Brazilian Kitchen
After Sandy Hook, some of the top trauma surgeons in the country, including some here in Connecticut, put together a think tank to try to come up with a plan to save lives of more of the wounded in a mass shooting like Sandy Hook.
A silver alert has been issued for missing Coventry teen girl.
A 9-1-1 malfunction is raising lots of questions across the state. What made the system go down? And how did that impact response time?
All over Connecticut, special tributes are being held this week to remember those who's lives were cut short at Sandy Hook.
A 22-year-old New Haven man is in critical condition after being shot in the head Thursday afternoon.
An old school in New London has become an eyesore, but now it's a money-making opportunity for the city.
UConn is expected to make it official in a news conference Thursday afternoon, but they have made a decision regarding who will be leading the football team next season.
The State Democratic Party has had to return a $10,000 contribution that appears to be illegal. It may be the first campaign contribution 'flare-up' of next year's race for governor.
Police say DNA evidence helped them crack a cold case investigation out of East Hampton.
An adult and a teen have been arrested in connection with a drunk driving crash that killed a Hebron teenager in August.