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Bolognese Polenta Tamale

(4 reviews)
Bolognese Polenta Tamale
  • Prep Time 40 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 0 min
  • Servings 8
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Bolognese Polenta Tamale

Italian flavors you know and love, served with Mexican flair.

Ingredients

BOLOGNESE

3/4
pound ground pork
3/4
pound ground beef
1
onion - diced
4
carrots - diced
3
cloves garlic - minced
6
ounces tomato paste
28
ounces Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2
cup red wine
1
cup cream
1/2
cup grated parmesan cheese
1
tablespoon oregano

TAMALE

1
cup cornmeal
4
cups chicken stock
1
cup masa harina
1/4
cup parmesan cheese
1
teaspoon cracked black pepper
8
large collard greens leaves

Directions

  • 1 MAKE THE SAUCE
  • 2 On high heat with a splash of oil, brown the meats until they are cooked through. Remove from pan. Add the carrot and onion and turn the heat to medium. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, to soften and lightly brown.
  • 3 Add the garlic and cook one minute, followed by the tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste in the pan, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  • 4 Add in the wine and bring to a simmer, combining everything. Add in the cooked meats, crushed tomatoes, cream, Parmesan, and oregano. Taste and add a little salt if needed. Let this mixture simmer lightly for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • 5 MAKE THE TAMALE DOUGH
  • 6 Bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal and remove from heat. Stir in the masa harina, Parmesan, and pepper. Keep stirring as it thickens and it should eventually come to the texture of a thick peanut butter.
  • 7 WRAP IT UP
  • 8 Remove some of the very thick stem from the center of each green leaf. Lay a leaf out on your work surface and spread with some of the masa mixture. Top with a scoop of the bolognese sauce. Roll up the tamale in the leaf making sure the corn dough is sealed around the sauce. Place the tamale into a steamer.
  • 9 Repeat with the rest of the tamale dough, and steam the tamales for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • 10 Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the steamer and serving.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Italian Tamales

As prepared by The Food in my Beard,

My favorite thing to do in the kitchen is taking flavors from one type of ethnic cooking and presenting it like a dish from a different cuisine.


These Italian Tamales are a great example of that. Normally a corn flour-based dough makes up the bulk of a tamale; this one is polenta. Normally a beefy taco meat filling is used in a tamale; this is a meaty Bolognese.

When they didn't have corn husks at the grocery store, I had to improvise. Instead, I used leafy hearty collard greens. Now instead of just tossing the wrapper, we can actually eat it!

These tamales are a unique treat that blends Mexican and Italian food seamlessly, and somehow manages to be familiar and new at the same time.

 

Carrot and scallion

A whole bunch of carrot and onion.

 

Making Bolognese sauce

When making Bolognese sauce, everything needs attention along the way. First the meat gets browned on its own, then comes out. Next the veggies get their time in the spotlight.

 

Tomato paste

Even the tomato paste gets some love. Then everything goes back into the pot and cooks together for a while.

 

Polenta, Bolognese and cheese on collard green

Polenta, Bolognese and cheese, all on a collard green.

 

Steaming tamales

Steaming away.

 

Italian tamale on plate

As I mentioned, the best part about using a collard green instead of a corn husk is that the wrapper is edible. Serve these with a side of veggies and you have a meal with classic flavors done in a new and elegant way.

 

Italian tamale cut open, ready to eat

The cheese and meat really goes perfectly with the corn cake. This is one of the best meals I’ve had in a while!

 



Dan Whalen now wants to make a tamale from every country. He has been blogging for over 4 years at The Food in My Beard; check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!
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Nutrition Information 
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