Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms and Bacon
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
8 ounces thick-cut bacon (226g), diced
20 ounces (567g) mushrooms (one kind or a mixture, such as cremini, shiitake and oyster)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (460g) chicken broth
2 cups (460g) whole milk
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1¼ cups (265g) polenta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup (35g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh thyme, rosemary and chives, to finish
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat renders out and the bacon is crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat for step 2.
2. Prepare the Mushrooms: Use a paring knife to trim the mushrooms into medium-large pieces, leaving medium and small mushrooms whole. On an unlined baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the bacon fat; season with salt and pepper.
3. Spread the mushrooms in an even layer on the baking sheet and then transfer to the oven. Roast until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.
4. While the Mushrooms Cook, Make the Polenta: In the same saucepan that you cooked the bacon, bring the broth, milk and shallot to a simmer. Gradually whisk in the polenta, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. To serve, spoon the polenta into shallow bowls and top with the roasted mushrooms and bacon. Garnish with thyme, rosemary and chives.