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Beef Risotto

Added: Sunday, August 11th 2019 at 9:49pm by modernman

"A few nights ago, went out to dinner. The restaurant was offering Risotto, which I really like, so I ordered it. What I got was a terrible cross between the flavors of southwest cuisine and Italian, with the worst parts of each. I felt cheated out of a good meal, so came home and made this dish. Risotto is a rice dish, made with a specific kind of rice, Arborio. Actually, it is less a dish, and more a cooking technique. I first saw Risotto made by Graham Kerr on the Mike Douglas show. He explained the trick to making the dish was slowly adding the stock until it was absorbed. He was misleading. The trick is stirring the rice while it is cooking, to knock the edges off the rice coat. These microscopic rice particles become rice paste, and thicken the dish. A second trick is not adding the stock too fast. With too much stock, there is not enough friction between the whisk and rice. Most chefs add the stock in three passes."

Servings: 4 - 6
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 C. chopped red onion
  • 1/4 C. chopped carrot
  • 1/4 C. chopped celery
  • 2 T parsley
  • 2 T sage
  • 1/2 C. T chopped Porcini mushmooms - see notes
  • 1 C Arborio rice
  • 1 C dry red wine - see notes
  • 1 Qt beef stock - see notes
  • 8 oz. grilled beef in 3/8
  • 2 T grated Parmigiano - see notes
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • salt to taste - see notes

Chop onion, carrot and celery
Chop mushrooms; if necessary soak in vermouth
Chop beef
Prepare stock

Heat butter and olive oil to medium high
Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery
Add parsley and sage
Add Porcinis
When onions are glassy, add Arborio
Stir, cooking the outside coat of the rice for several minutes
Add wine
Reduce heat to medium - see notes
Add 1/3 of the stock
Stir for two minutes - see notes
Stop and allow the stock to be absorbed (three or four additional minutes)
Repeat: add 1/3 stock, stir, allow to absorb
Repeat: add 1/3 stock, stir, allow to absorb
Add beef
Add cheeses
Season (salt and pepper)

For the wine, any flavor subtlety is going to be covered over by the cheese spices. However, cheap wine will be sweeter, and should be avoided.

Porcinis are not a necessity, though they add a nice woody flavor. If they're not available, button mushrooms can be soaked in vermouth and substituted

I used dried Porcinis, and reconstituted them in the chicken stock prepped for the dish. For the recipe's 2 T of Porcinis, I used about 1/4 oz of dried mushrooms. In the stock, in only took a few minutes for them to moisten. They floated, so when they were ready, it was easy to skim them off the top

I use a beef base which must be reconstituted: 1 T base in 1 Qt water

Parmegiano, Reggianno, Pecorino... any of a combination of hard grated Italian cheese will work

Differing from white rice. which is allowed to simmer on low while the moisture is absorbed, Risotto uses more moisture, with more vigorous boiling, so medium heat is required

The stirring does not have to be vigorous. Two minutes of stirring, focusing on pushing the grains of rice against the whisk and each other, should be enough

If anything in Risotto is tricky, it is the end timing. At approximately the same moment, you need the stock to be absorbed and the rice to finish cooking

Serves four to six

2 T Gorgonzola or any veined or bleu cheese can be added, though Gorgonzola tends to have a softer taste: if substituting a stronger-flavored cheese, reduce the amount

The stock and dairy provide salt flavoring - taste before adding additional

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