Sunday, February 26, 2006

Risotto al Ragu

Sure, there has been a touch of dieting in this house, but not without its own bit of relief, full of flavour, and meat-soaked, liver-chopped fun. That's right, I'm talking about Saturday night meat risotto. Or, as Egi Maccioni prefers, "Risotto Al Ragu".

Egi's preference for- get this- 6 tablespoons of butter IN ADDITION TO a half cup of oil, makes for truly soul-satisfying material.

Now, I know I'm still fairly new to cooking, but that's a dizzying amount of fat to fry some veggies in! However, I like to follow the recipe through the first time, so into the pan went an incredible amount of butter and oil. Oh, such a rich, golden colour!

Speaking of colour, we finally have a break in the winter-riffic brown-foods marathon. I wouldn't say these vegetables are sauteeing, so much as deep-fat frying. I'm okay with that.

As this was my first time using chicken livers, it was a bit- odd. At the same time, the cats were quite present and supportive of this decision. With their re-assurance, I pressed through.

For the humans here, the deep red, intense flavour was momentarily disconcerting. Yet, the more the dish cooled off, the more it mellowed into an incredibly complex and rich-tasting version of risotto.

In short order, DucCat and I had quickly scraped our bowls clean. Peasant food was never so good, so right and so clean. Grab your baguette, and hold on for the ride!

Risotto with Meat Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons butter
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 pound ground beef
2 cups chicken broth, plus more if necessary
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
salt and pepper
2 cups arborio rice
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots, and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook 3 minutes more, until the meat begins to brown.
Add 1 cup chicken broth, the chicken livers, tomato paste, wine, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the rice and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed.
In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup chicken broth. Stir the hot broth into the risotto 1/2 cup at a time, making sure the previous addition has been absorbed before adding more.
Cook until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of each serving.

Serves 6

From The Maccioni Family Cookbook, by Egi Maccioni with Peter Kaminsky

Don't forget to share a bit with those you love.


Blogger vlb5757 said...

The cat's face is priceless. Great shot! I have never had risotto with meat so this one I think I will have to try!

February 26, 2006 10:23 AM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

That risotto looks so decadent and delicious - I loooove liver.

February 26, 2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Looks very good! So, what wine did you have with the risotto?

February 26, 2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger cin said...


March 22, 2006 2:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Enter a long URL to make tiny: