I was looking through the Internet earlier, looking for inspiration for dinner tonight. The weather here in the UK has turned, summer is on hiatus for a few days, and this evening turned into a stormy feeling autumnal day. I had the idea of a risotto, it always symbolises to me comfort food, a warm creamy rich delight!
Normally when I cook risotto, I take a long time, cooking the onions and garlic slowly, making sure that the butter is unsalted so it doesn’t colour, using an almost clear chicken or vegetable stock, with the end result of a white creamy dish, filled with flavour. The problem was I had runout of chicken AND vegetable stock, and only had salted butter in the fridge.
A quick improvisation and voila, I decided on a beef, tomato and mushroom risotto. I had never used a beef stock with risotto before, and never added huge chunks of veg, but hey ho, needs must.
For my Beef Risotto. I used
5 cloves of smoked garlic
A large knob of Butter
A splash of Olive Oil
A Splash of Red Wine
8 Crimini “brown” mushrooms
1 litre of Beef Stock
Risotto Rice about 300g
I put the butter in a large frying pan, splashed olive oil over it and melted it until it became foamy, adding the onions which were fried over a medium heat until they began to brown, then added the garlic and Risotto rice, letting the rice absorb all the oil.
Next the red wine was added, while I stirred continuously until this had been absorbed and I was left with a sticky lumpy mess of rice in the pan. The first ladle of beef stock was added and absorbed by the rice, followed by the second ladle of stock and the mushrooms. After a few minutes, I added another ladle of stock followed by the tomatoes. The tomatoes I used were left overs from a side dish, so they had been marinating in balsamic, so you could use fresh tomatoes sliced and a splash of balsamic as well.
It was then just a waiting game of adding a ladle of stock, stirring, adding, stirring, until the rice had swollen and absorbed all the liquid. By this time, the tomatoes had broken down, the garlic had seemingly melted, and the rice had released their starchy creaminess. I Wasserstein told by G that the smell was tantalising during this lengthy process!
I don’t think the result looks too attractive if I’m honest, and probably should have been jazzed up with a sharp green of some broccoli, or even watercress. But the taste was amazing.
This is definitely a dish I will play around with, creating more combinations and depths of flavour. I think it will be a winter dish, perhaps served with some crusty warm bread for a real carby treat.