Creamy Polenta with Shredded Beef Braised in a Tomato Wine Sauce ~ #SundaySupper

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This post is sponsored by Florida Beef Council in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

My most treasured memories growing up in a Sicilian home are centered around food and family. Food brought us together. It was the cornerstone of our relationships and our lives.

We always ate a long table or a couple of tables meshed together; eating as one unit. You didn’t get up from the table once you finished. Life was too exciting sitting around with family and friends. Why would you leave the competing voices, delicious platters of food, the stories and the attention?! Of course you wouldn’t.


Polenta served on a wooden board

Polenta served on a wooden board




There was no TV blaring in the background nor was the TV competing for my family’s attention. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I realized other families watched TV while eating. It was a foreign concept. A school friend invited me to dinner at her house. They were a family unit of 5. The TV blared on the counter, some pleasant (read quiet & definitely not loud) conversation were exchanged over frozen dinners and each of the 5 people were mesmerized by this box. Huh. I was intrigued by my friend’s dinner dynamics but longed for the banter, noise and abundance of food around my table at home.

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Depending on the day and time of year, my family table was surrounded by siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents and strays we embraced to make them honorary family members. As the years passed, boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wives and children joined our chaotic, boisterous table.


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The one consistent theme of dinner was food was served in several courses and brought to the table on big platters. As a member of the family brigade, you took your small plate (tiny in comparison to American main plates) and helped yourself to the food in the center. Whether I am in Palmero, Sicily; Bologna, Italy or in Upstate NY; the food that brings me comfort and love is any type of beef in a tomato sauce served with creamy polenta or homemade tagliatelle pasta. Beef is versatile! It can be used as a flavor enhancer or as a protein boost to your snack or meal.


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Did you know one serving of beef meets 50% of your recommended daily value of protein? Well, it does. Today, I’m sharing with you my recipe of creamy polenta with braised beef. It’s served on a long board in the center of the table where you can help yourself to the dish no matter where you are sitting. Warning-think of your serving as an appetizer or tapa because more courses are to follow at our home. Think of beef as an ingredient in your recipes instead of as the center of the plate! Beef can be a nutrient-packed addition to any bowl, salad or veggie-focused meal.

The braised shredded beef can be made the day before to save on time. I prefer making it ahead of time to avoid a hot kitchen in the summer and because this type of beef becomes better the next day.

You can find more information and other delicious Florida Beef Council recipes on the Florida Beef Website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube channel.


Ingredients: Shredded Beef in a Braised Tomato Sauce

3-5 lbs of Chuck Roast Boneless


Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Medium Yellow Onions, diced

6 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 ½ cups Red Wine

2  24oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes in Sauce

1  24oz Can of Plum Tomatoes in Sauce

1/8 cup Worcester Sauce

Fresh Italian Parsley


Ingredients: Creamy Polenta

1 Cup Polenta (do NOT use instant polenta)

2 Cups Water or Chicken Stock

2 Cups Heavy Cream

1 ½ Cup Grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese ( or Parmigiano-Reggiano) *use only ½ cup in recipe. 1 Cup for the table.

2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

Fresh Basil



Shredded Braised Beef in Tomato Sauce

Let the beef sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat an empty dutch oven over medium high heat. If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a heavy pot or a super deep frying pan.
  3. Cut the chuck roast into 3-6 pieces.
  4. Generously season the beef with salt and black pepper, making sure to salt all the sides of the beef.
  5. Pour 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a plate or bowl.
  1. Using your hands, lightly coat each seasoned piece of beef with the vegetable oil. When all pieces are lightly coated with oil, place the beef in the hot dutch oven/pot.
  2. Sear on all sides until the meat is dark brown and crusty. You may need to use tongs and hold in place to sear the sides of the beef.
  3. Lower stove temperature to medium.
  1. Add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil to the pot.
  2. Add diced yellow onions and minced garlic, periodically stirring until the onions are soft, translucent and a bit of a golden color. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add red pepper flakes, then stir.
  4. Add red wine, bring to a soft boil, then scrape the bottom of the pot to losen the bits stuck to the bottom.
  1. Add the tomatoes and sauce, breaking up the tomatoes into pieces with a wooden spoon.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then add Worcester sauce.
  3. Return meat to the dutch oven, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 4-5 hours. *if you are not using a dutch oven, transfer the seared meat and the sauce in the pot to an appropriate deep oven safe pan/dish.
  4. Remove the beef with tongs to a plate. Shred the beef using 2 forks. Return the shredded beef to the pot. Stir and place in refrigerator over night.
Braised Beef

Braised Beef

Shredding Beef with 2 Forks

Shredding Beef using 2 Forks


The next day, reheat the pot in the oven or on the stove. While the braised shredded beef  is reheating, make the polenta. Pour the finished polenta onto a serving plate or long wooden board. If you don’t have a round or wooden board, you can use my handy dandy beach towel & parchment paper method.  Fold lengthwise a beach towel in 3rds on the table and cover with parchment paper.  The Polenta is then poured on top of this setup.

Polenta served on a wooden board

Polenta served on a wooden board


If you are using a wooden board, make a thin boarder with polenta, then fill in the center with the remaining polenta. The boarder acts as a barrier. Finally, ladle the shredded braised beef  onto sections of the creamy polenta. Garnish with basil and Italian parsley. Pour remaining sauce into gravy boats.


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Remember to turn off the television and immerse yourself in family conversation.



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Polenta Beef Collage