Risotto milan style

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 quart Homemade meat broth (canned is fine)
2 tablespoons Diced beef marrow; pancetta, or prosciutto
2 tablespoons Finely chopped shallots or yellow onion
5 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 \N Arborio rice (do not substitute another kind of rice)
⅓ teaspoon Powdered saffron -or-
½ teaspoon Chopped whole saffron; dissolved in:
1½ cup Hot broth or water
\N \N Salt/pepper to taste

I most often use saffron in risotto; I have found Marcella Hazan's basic risotto milanese recipe (in her "Classic Italian Cookbook) to be a good basic starting point. Anything in brackets will be my additions...this is a *very* flexible, basic, forgiving recipe! Cooking directions condensed and "intuited" thru experience...

1. Bring broth to a simmer; keep it there, don't let it actually reach a rolling boil.

2. In a "heavy bottomed casserole" (I use my le Creuset Dutch oven) saute whatever meat you're using and shallots/onions in 3T butter and all of the oil. When the onions become translucent, add the rice and stir for a few minutes until it's well coated and sauteed.

3. After the rice has sauteed for a bit, add ½ C or so of the hot broth (keep it simmering!); stir this in, add another ½ cup or so as the rice dries out, and stir it often to keep it from sticking; continue for a while (@ 15, 20 minutes. Just add more liquid whenever it starts sticking or looking dry; the rice will soak it all up.) 4. After 15 minutes of this (when the rice starts tasing like it "might" be done soon, add ½ the dissolved saffron and whatever else you want to add (see below); I like a lot of saffron, so I would go on ahead and add all that you've prepared; Marcella is concerned about herbs overwhelming the dish; my sense is that it's easy to add "a certain amount" of saffron and then add more to taste a bit later. I like a lot.

5. When the rice is done (ie, tender but al dente, still a bit firm) correct for salt. If you're eating this with parmesan cheese, don't add very much salt at all. Add remaining 2 T butter and about ¼ cp grated p.

cheese and mix, and serve.

Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese in case anyone wants it.

NOTE: I like to soak porcini mushrooms, chop them and add them towards the end. After soaking (ie reconstituting) the shrooms, you get a nice concentrated liquid that can be used in the risotto for cooking liquid *as long as you drain it first* (I use a coffee filter in a sieve) I also have had fabulous luck with just stirring in clean, raw leaves of spinach into the risotto at the end (it wilts very quickly), zucchini, shrimp, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, chopped olives, fresh sage, canned tuna, capers, anything. Literally anything.




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