For the best flavor and texture, use coarse stoneground cornmeal; fine cornmeal produced pasty, gluey polenta, while steel-ground cornmeal has less flavor. We liked Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta Corn Grits (cornmeal), but found that different brands of can cook up with slightly different consistencies. The finished polenta should be pourable; if it's too thick, thin with water as needed. This polenta is not enriched with butter or cheese, which allows the sweetness of the corn to be front and center. It's a perfect side to most braises, such as Tuscan beef and black pepper stew. It also can be paired with a flavorful sauce, such as spicy tomato sauce with garlic and anchovies.
cups coarse stoneground yellow cornmeal (see note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01Heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven, whisk together the cornmeal, 1 tablespoon salt and 11 cups water. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high, stirring frequently to prevent clumping. Transfer the pot, uncovered, to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
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