Beefy Mushroom and Marsala Risotto

12 02 2012

Risotto is a common find on restaurant menus, often times served as a side dish. But it can also be a meal unto itself too. If you can learn the basic technique (sweating, deglazing and simmer),you’ll achieve the trademark creaminess and your flavor possibilities will be endless!

My first attempt at homemade risotto ended up tasting good, but I didn’t get the texture of the rice just right. Tonight was my second attempt…combining a few recipes from my fav cookbooks and incorporating my own flare. The recipe below was created from a combo of ingredients and tips from Rachel Ray’s Big Orange Book, Cuisine at Home and Piatto Unico (one course Italian meal cookbook). I’m quite proud of myself this time around, supper was delicious….don’t be intimidated, you’ve got to give this one a try!!

Beefy Mushroom and Marsala Risotto

The following serves 3 to 4:

  • 6 cups beef stock, warmed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, warmed
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 packages sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A good handful of arugula
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Sliced green onions for topping
  • Salt and pepper

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan and keep hot. Heat the wine until warmed in a separate saucepan.

Place a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf, and saute until the onion begins to get tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the arborio rice and toast in the pan, 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the white wine and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about a minute. Remove the bay leaf and add a few ladles of the stock to the pan (enough to cover the rice) and stir to combine; cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, then stir in more stock. Continue to use this technique to cook the rice to al dente, about 20 minutes (firm to the bite, but not gritty). Continue to stir, especially each time you add more stock.  This will release the starches from the rice, creating a creamy sauce.

While the risotto is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in another skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan and cook until tender and dark, 10 to 12 minutes. After about 5 minutes, add about 1 Tbsp minced garlic. Cook for another 5 – 7 minutes. Once the mushrooms are tender and dark, add the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Next, deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine, scrapping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon.  Cook for a minute or so, then turn off heat.

When you’ve used all of the hot stock for the risotto, taste it and make sure it’s done (again, firm to the bite, but not gritty). Next, stir in 1 Tbsp butter and the parmesan cheese. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if needed. Dish out the risotto in a mound, leaving some room in the center. Scoop in some mushrooms and arugula in the center (include some of the Marsala sauce too, sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve.

If you’re making this for two, you’ll have good portions plus some leftovers. But if you’re serving four, I recommend also making a side salad just in case 😉

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