Risotto allo zafferano

Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

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)

Preparation:

  1. 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).
  2. Season with salt and allow broth to simmer on low heat.
  3. 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).
  4. Toast rice in the pan for about 4 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Stir in wine until it’s absorbed and rice is translucent.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Cook rice until it’s **al dente, add the saffron-flavored broth and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Remove mixture from heat and stir in cheese and butter.
  11. 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 dentedescribes pasta or rice that is cooked to be firm to the bite The etymology is Italian “to the tooth”.

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