Saturday, May 3, 2008

Risotto of Radicchio, Bacon, Rosemary, and Red Wine

We have made this dish several times and it is one of our popular weekend dinners.  We are not sure if we are supposed to use back bacon or streaky bacon that is the default bacon in North American.  We use streaky bacon since it is easy to find and we often have some on hand.  Just make sure you drain the fat after frying.

approximately 5 cups stock
olive oil
3 shallots or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 head of celery, finely chopped
14 oz (2 cups) arborio rice
3 wineglasses of a full-bodied red wine
10 strips of bacon, finely sliced
2 heads of radicchio, trimmed and finely sliced
1 handful of fresh rosemary
1 pat of butter
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

  1. Heat the stock.  Fry the bacon until slightly golden.  Add the radicchio and rosemary to the pan and cook gently with the lid on until wilted.
  2. In a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallots or onions, garlic and celery, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes.  When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.
  3. The rice will now begin to fry, so keep stirring it.  After a minute it will look slightly translucent.  Add the red wine and keep stirring.
  4. Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt.  Turn down the heat to a highish simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside.  Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.  this will take around 15 minutes.  Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.  Stir in the bacon/radicchio/rosemary.  Don't forget to check the seasoning carefully.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan.  Stir gently.  Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.  This is the most important part of making the risotto, as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be.  Eat as soon as possible while the risotto retains its perfect texture.

Serves 6
From Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef Takes Off

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