Risotto Piemonte

A big thank you to my friends Stacy & Matt Petronzio who were kind enough to share this amazing family recipe. In Stacy's own words, "A dinner party favorite! We call this Risotto Piemonte because it is a family recipe from my husband's great-grandmother, who came from the Piedmont region of Italy...and now we make it in the Piedmont of North Carolina."
...and now for my words:
This is out of this world delicious. It's completely authentic and requires a lot of love and care to prepare...and it is entirely worth the effort. Make sure you have a big glass of cabernet, some music playing in the background, and someone in the kitchen to keep you company. This takes time, but it is amazing to watch (and smell) it all come together. If you'll try it, I promise you will experience something really special!

From the Doggone Good! cookbook:


"56 oz. (4 cans) chicken, beef or vegetable stock, low-sodium optional
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 oz salt pork, very finely diced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb lean ground beef (we use 90% lean)
12 oz fresh Portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 medium bay leaves
1 1/2 c arborio rice
1 1/2 c white wine
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste 

Method:
Pour stock into medium stock pot, cover and bring to a simmer. This will be added into the rice as it cooks and needs to be hot. You may not need all of the stock to cook the rice, so do not be concerned if there is some left at the end. Separately, heat a large stock pot over medium high heat, and add extra virgin olive oil. Add very finely chopped salt pork (optional), almost paste-like, and saute until golden brown. Next, add onion and stir until translucent and turning golden. Add garlic and saute quickly. Add ground beef, and break into fine pieces. Brown well to build flavor. Add mushrooms and saute mixture together until mushrooms cook to half of their original size. Add bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste.  Next, add rice and toast with other ingredients for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add wine and stir, deglazing bottom of pan to extract flavors. Begin adding hot stock from the medium pan by ladling liquid over mixture in the large stockpot. Add enough to cover the rice and stir constantly until absorbed. Add more stock as it is absorbed, and/or evaporates, making sure that the rice is at all times just covered by the stock. Pay close attention to the consistency of the rice, which should be creamy, not runny, when done. When the rice appears to be approaching completion, taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Keep in mind that cheese will be added, which will also add to the saltiness of the dish. When rice is fully cooked, turn off heat, add butter and stir vigorously. When risotto glistens, add cheese and stir thoroughly. Add parsley for color and serve immediately. Add Parmesan cheese to taste. Mangia! Serves 6-8 as an entree." (Or 2 with leftovers at the Lawson house!!)

Happy Cooking!

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