Yes, this risotto has beef stock instead of white wine/chicken stock giving it an unexpected flavor. The wine may be missing but there is lots of butter, Parmesan cheese (I doubled the cheese and it was thicker but cheesy) and beef stock.
The beef stock (versus broth) gives the risotto a darker color and makes it thicker but it is so creamy and the rice still had a little bite. You could always use vegetable stock instead for a milder flavor. Of course there is the fennel which takes this risotto over the top by adding a little sweetness. No, this is not your typical risotto but absolutely delicious!
This risotto is Skye McAlpine’s idea of comfort food that she grew up with since moving to the town of Venice, Italy when she was six. Her cookbook, “A Taste of Venice”, contains 100 recipes on cooking the Venetian way or her version of home cooking. She adapted this risotto recipe from Mariu Salvatori de Zuliani’s classic Venetian cookbook, “A Tola Co I Nostri Veci”.
Update: August 5, 2018
I just got around to reading Issue No. 11 of Cherry Bombe and Skye is one of the featured women in this issue (along with Nigella who made the cover and others).
“Cherry Bombe is a biannual indie magazine that celebrates women and food. Each issue is packed with features, profiles, recipes, photos, and artwork from some of the most talented writers, chefs, food stylists, photographers, and illustrators around”. A very high quality publication that I recommend to all you foodies (or anyone), who are interested in what some creative women in this world are doing with their lives!
My hubby and I visited Venice, this unique and romantic city, on my birthday many years ago. It was part of a two week driving vacation through this beautiful and historical country (yes, we had to take a boat to get to Venice). The gondola rides, amazing architecture, strong coffee and walking tours on flooded streets. Some areas we had to walk on boards.
Some call it the “city of love” (Paris actually claims that fame), but in fact it is floating in a lagoon of water, reeds and marshland. The transport system are interconnected canals – amazing to see these canals everywhere. Venice is certainly one of a kind…
Nowadays, people are calling Venice the “sinking city” as it has sunk 9 inches over the past 100 years. Global warming certainly plays a part…
Fennel Risotto with Parmesan and Beef Stock, Adapted
- 6-1/2 cups good quality beef stock
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) fennel bulbs, finely sliced (I chopped them into pieces)
- generous pinch of salt
- heaping 1-1/2 cups Carnaroli rice (said to be harder to overcook than Arborio rice)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (I added 1 cup)
Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat and keep at a simmer. I have never made my own beef stock before but have made chicken and vegetable stocks. Melt about 2/3’s of the butter in another saucepan. Add the onion, fennel and salt. Cook, while stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the rice and increase the heat to high, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add a soup ladle of the stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has been absorbed before adding more stock.
Stir constantly while adding the stock a cup at a time until it is all absorbed for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Vigorously stir in the remaining butter and Parmesan which is called mantecare (the final step) and is what gives the rice that incredible creaminess.
You do need to eat this right after cooking as the risotto loses its creamy texture the longer it sits. You can reheat it by adding more broth until the rice warms up. Better yet use the leftover risotto to make fresh mozzarella stuffed arancini or risotto cakes.
The ingredients and getting ready to core the fennel bulbs…
Adding the rice and the beef stock slowly, one ladle at a time…
Adding the rest of the butter and Parmesan and the finished fennel risotto…
I have another recipe, or rather two, Risotto Milanese Two Ways – one in my Breville Rice Cooker and the other is a Weight Watcher’s recipe.
Linking to Angie @ Fiesta Friday and the two co-hosts Mara @ Put on Your Cake Pants and Hilda @ Along the Grapevine