Fast Recipes

Braised mushrooms with polenta

Earthy mushrooms and creamy, parmesan-rich polenta make the best of friends.

By Max Adey
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Top-notch ingredients will make all the difference in this simple dish, so if possible, splurge on the wine and opt for a top-shelf aged balsamic.


  • 80 gm butter, chopped
  • 500 gm mixed mushrooms, such as field mushrooms and Swiss browns, larger mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) full-bodied red wine
  • 3 marjoram sprigs, plus 2 tsp finely chopped leaves
  • 125 ml (½ cup) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Soft polenta
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • 180 gm (1 cup) fine polenta
  • 100 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 60 gm butter, chopped


  • 1
    Heat a quarter of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add half the mushrooms and cook until golden (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with another quarter of the butter and remaining mushrooms, transfer to bowl and season to taste. Add half the remaining butter to pan, then add garlic and sauté until golden (1 minute). Deglaze pan with wine, scraping base of pan, then add marjoram sprigs and cook until wine is reduced by half (1 minute). Increase heat to high, add stock, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to a thin sauce (4-5 minutes). Discard marjoram sprigs. Return mushrooms to pan with chopped marjoram, balsamic vinegar and remaining butter, season to taste, then swirl pan to coat and glaze mushrooms.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for polenta, bring milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Rain in polenta, whisking continuously, then whisk occasionally until thick and smooth (8-10 minutes). Whisk in parmesan and butter, season to taste and serve with glazed mushrooms and extra parmesan.