Monday, May 24, 2010

Red wine risotto

I love this for so many reasons, I'm going to make a list:
1. It tastes fantastic.
2. It's a low-maintenance risotto.  No need to stir!
3. It uses exactly one bottle of wine.  If you drink two glasses.
4. As long as I have the rice, I can make this with what's in the pantry.

The only tricky bit is the rice.  You need vialone nano rice - this technique doesn't really work with other rice varieties.  I buy mine here, but have just found that it's (a lot) cheaper here (but I've never used this company so can't make any claims aside from price!!)  If you're not in NZ, you'll have to do your own Google search, sorry.  I know you can cope. 

Cast of characters:  vialone nano rice (1 and 1/2 cups), a bottle of red wine (I usually use something mid-range, with guts like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.  Just don't use cheap stuff.  Please.), 1 cup of beef stock (low salt), 1 large or 2 small onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and a handful of rosemary.  You will also need 50g of butter and about 1/2 cup of grated parmesan.  Yes, I'm incapable of taking a perfect ingredients shot, thank you for noticing!

Pour the beef stock and 1 and 1/2 cups of wine into a small saucepan, cover and set heat to medium.  You want this to start heating up, so it's just simmering when you need it in a few steps time.

Finely dice the onion, crush the garlic, and finely chop the rosemary (remove stalks).  Cook gently on low heat with a splash of olive oil, stirring until onion softens.

Add rice, stir to coat with oil, and turn the heat up to medium.  Keep the rice moving, letting it toast slightly (the grains will become a sharper shade of white - we are not looking for any colour here, just white!)

Add a splash of wine, and stir until most of the liquid evaporates:

Pour in the simmering beef stock/wine mix (all of it, all at once), then as soon as it starts bubbling turn back to low heat, and cover securely.

I weigh the pot lid down with a couple of wet tea-towels (old ones with a few red wine stains on them already).  This step is not compulsory, but stopped the lid from rattling and driving me crazy..

Now for the low-maintenance part.  Pour yourself two glasses of wine (OK, share one if you're feeling generous).  Walk away for 15 minutes.  Leave the lid on and resist the urge to meddle.  Magic is happening.
Once your time is up, grab a spoon and give it a poke and a stir.  Throw in the butter and the parmesan, and stir until melted.

Serve with steak (mushrooms work well too), and veges.
Reheats well, I love this for lunch the next day - if there's any left.

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