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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 60 - Polenta con Quaglia

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Andre Ursini

Polenta con Quaglia

Tomato Sugo
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 tomato can, filled with water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped
Brown sugar, to taste
200g fine grain polenta
1L water
150g butter
20g grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
2 quail
4 sage leaves
4 thin slices of flat pancetta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
20g butter
1/4 cup mirepoix brunoise
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sugo

1 Pre-heat oven to 180C.

2 For tomato sugo, pour oil into a deep frying pan, turn on heat and add onion. Cook until translucent, add garlic and cook for one minute. Add whole tomatoes, do not break them up but keep whole. Gently mix and cook over high heat for five minutes until mixture comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low and after 10 minutes, add basil. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Take off heat and use a stick blender to emulsify. Once blended add sugar and salt to balance acidity and sweetness.

3 For polenta, pour water into a medium saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Slowly whisk in polenta and cook over high heat for five minutes until mixture thickens. Reduce heat to low and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Top up with a little water if it gets too thick.

4 To finish polenta, take off heat, add butter and whisk in. Add grated parmesan and salt to taste.

5 For quail, cut quail legs away from the body. De-bone legs and season with salt and pepper. Lay a sage leaf on each leg and wrap pancetta around the bone securely.  Season the remaining quail and fry in a pan with the stuffed quail legs until brown on all sides. Add butter and thyme, baste quail and place in oven for 12-15 minutes, checking for doneness after 8 minutes. Set legs aside and pick all meat off the remaining quail. Reserve pan.

6 To finish sauce, in the same pan, fry the mirepoix until lightly browned. Add bay leaf and wine and reduce. Ladle sugo into the pan with quail meat and cook for a further 10 minutes, finishing with seasoning, butter and parsley to taste.

7 To serve, place a large spoonful of polenta into serving bowl, then quail ragu, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and finish with quail legs, chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.