Beef Ragú with Polenta

This classic Italian combination of a rich beef stew served with creamy polenta is perfect for a cold winter night. Make a simple stovetop polenta to go along with the ragú, thick chunks of beef and vegetables simmered in a rich and fragrant broth.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 4 cups water
  • 1½ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ lb. beef sirloin tip, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper


  • Bring water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Lower heat to a simmer and cook polenta, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until very thick and pulling away from side of pan, about 40 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  • While the polenta simmers, toss beef with vinegar, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt, in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain beef, reserving marinade. Toss beef with flour.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add beef to saucepan; cook and stir until browned, about 4–6 minutes. Remove beef from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, oregano, pepper, and reserved marinade; bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then return beef to pan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until beef is tender.
  • Serve ragú with the polenta.