Let me preface this post by admitting this: I am not from the southern United States. According to my Ancestry DNA, I am less than 7 percent Italian. But hey, I have this piece of paper (from a UC-accredited culinary school) hanging up on the wall of my bedroom that says that I am a pretty decent cook. I crave cheesy polenta grits, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to stand in front of my stove constantly stirring.
Why do I pressure cook my polenta grits? The steam and pressure cause friction between the particles of corn, so it’s almost as if they’re stirring themselves inside of the pot. This means NO LUMPS. I kid you not, this batch of polenta grits is by far the best I have ever tasted.
Instant Pot Polenta Grits
Serves 3 to 4
1 cup polenta grits (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp oil (vegetable, coconut, corn or any high-smoking point oil will do)
4.5 cups water
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
Butter, grated cheese, chopped scallions, freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add the polenta grits and oil, stirring to combine.
After 5 minutes, the mixture should be fragrant, with a popcorn-like scent. Press the cancel button, to stop the heat.
Add the water to the pot slowly, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Once all of the water has been added, seal the lid with the pressure valve set to “sealing.”
Set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the steam for 15 minutes, then manually release the pressure valve.
Stir the grits; add the salt and milk or cream. Season to taste with butter, grated cheese, scallions, freshly cracked black pepper, or whatever sounds good to you. Serve warm.
The recipe can be doubled to serve more, but the cooking time will remain the same.
This is a perfect lazy brunch dish, but no one will judge you if you choose to serve it for lunch or dinner. This would be a fantastic base for a ragu sauce or osso buco!