Time: 3 hours
For the broth
- A piece of boiled beef
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 parsley stalk
- 2-3 peppercorns
- Sea salt (to taste)
For the risotto
- 2 tbsp butter (divided)
- ½ onion (finely chopped)
- 1 and ⅔ cups rice (preferably Carnaroli)
- ½ cup white wine
- Saffron (to taste)
- Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated)
- Balsamic vinegar (to taste) (optional)
- In a medium pot, combine all broth ingredients and cover with cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil until the beef is tender (about 2 hours).
- Season with salt and allow broth to simmer on low heat.
- Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm up 1 tbsp butter, and *sauté onion until it’s soft and translucent (about 5 min).
- Toast rice in the pan for about 4 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Stir in wine until it’s absorbed and rice is translucent.
- Stir in 1 ladle or broth at a time until each is absorbed, taking care to mix in any grains that may be stuck to the side of the pan to ensure evenly cooked risotto.
- Taste the dish before adding each scoop of broth to prevent adding too much liquid and overcooking. While adding the broth, remember that stirring slowly and continuously is key.
- Place a small pan over low heat and toast the saffron. Release more saffron flavor by crumbling the threads, then mix in a small portion of broth.
- Cook rice until it’s **al dente, add the saffron-flavored broth and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove mixture from heat and stir in cheese and butter.
- Serve each portion topped with generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.
* Sauté – meaning ‘jumped, bounced’ in reference to tossing while cooking) is a method of cooking that uses a relatively small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat.
** Al dente – describes pasta or rice that is cooked to be firm to the bite The etymology is Italian “to the tooth”.