There seems to be a little mystery about Risotto. There shouldn’t be. The only mystery regarding risotto is the rice you use.
If you have had a terrible experience making risotto you may have to start again with some more suitable rice. Did your last risotto resemble a pot of glue? Then you probably bought your rice in the supermarket and it was probably called “Arborio”. You need to buy Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice to make wonderful risotto; this rice is in the “Arborio” family but couldn’t be further away from the rice you bought in the supermarket. For a start it is a protected product of Italy and therefore only grown in Italy. You won’t find this rice in the supermarket, you will only find it in specialty stores and deli’s. There is nothing wrong with rice that is grown in Australia unless you want to make risotto and that, my friends means you must buy the proper rice.
Carnaroli and Vialone Nano rice are grown in the North of Italy where the rainfall and soil are most suitable for rice. Both Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are rounded short rice grains that can soak up almost double their weight in liquid and still stay firm and whole. Carnaroli is the most well known and the preferred grain It’s slightly larger and stays firmer in the centre than Vialone Nano which is often used in Liguria to make beautiful soupy fish based Risottos.
There are of course a number of ways to make Risotto, just like most things that come from Italy, every one has their own take on making it. We, in our house also have our own way of making Risotto. Due to the fact we have it often we try hard not to make it a full month’s hit of fat. We only use a small amount of both cheese and butter. I am also known to add various vegetables, on the odd occasion, that don’t go into Risotto, so that it can become a hidden treasure trove of goodness without any of the vege-phobic residents at our house knowing they are eating good bits.
Sometimes people make Risotto like this.
So, don’t feel you have to follow any hard and fast rules other than to buy the best Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice you can find. And start by following the basic principles of making Risotto.
- Heat a wide deep pot adding oil and butter and always toast the rice.
- Always use hot stock
- Add stock bit by bit until the grains are soft and creamy on the outside but have a tiny core of firmness left in the middle.
- Add grated parmesan and butter in the amounts you prefer
- Always cover and sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- 150 gm onion chopped
- 100 gm celery finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 200 gm carnaroli rice 1 cup
- 30 gm butter
- 40 ml olive oil 2 Tablespoon
- 1.250 litre chicken stock
- 100 gm grated parmesan cheese 3 tablesp or as much as you can handle
- 50 gm butter (extra as much as you want)
- 20 gm beetroot powder Tablespoons
- 500 gm beef rump diced
- 20 ml sweet balsamic if not sweet and a teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 small garlic clove
- 20 ml olive oil
- 5 gm salt
- 1 Tablespoon chives chopped
- 2 Tablespoons parsley, flat leaf chopped
- 120 gm sour cream 1/2 cup
- 1 tablespoon horseradish Jar
You can find beetroot poweder at health food stores or some supermarkets