Wine-Braised Jackfruit with Creamy Polenta
If this is the first time you’ve heard of jackfruit, it was only a matter of time. A healthy and sustainable meat alternative, jackfruit has a great texture, works especially well with bold flavors and makes a great substitute for barbecue pork. It's also the key to making this wine-braised dish you won't believe is meatless.
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered
3 20-oz. cans jackfruit chunks in brine, rinsed
1 cup sliced leeks (white part only)
2 cups vegetable stock, divided
1½ cups diced onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups red wine
1 cup frozen pearl onions
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Creamy polenta, for serving (recipe follows)
For the creamy polenta
2 cups cashew milk, plus more if needed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits
¼ cup nutritional yeast
• To a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the mushrooms and saute until they begin to release liquid. Add the jackfruit and leeks, and cook until the leeks are translucent and mushrooms softened, about 5 minutes. If the vegetables stick, add the stock 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
• Return the Dutch oven to medium heat and add the onion, carrots, shallot and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons stock, saute 1 minute then sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Saute 1 minute, stirring to coat the vegetables in the flour.
• Increase the heat to high and add the wine, scraping up any brown bits to deglaze the pan. Stirring constantly, add the remaining stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the reserved jackfruit mixture, pearl onions and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender and the jackfruit shreds easily, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over creamy polenta.
For the creamy polenta
• In a large pot over high heat, bring the cashew milk and stock to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, making sure there are no lumps.
• Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the polenta simmer, whisking occasionally, until it has a soft, creamy texture, 20 to 25 minutes. If it seems too thick, add a little more cashew milk.