Fennel Risotto with Parmesan and Beef Stock

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

21 thoughts on “Fennel Risotto with Parmesan and Beef Stock

  1. I was thinking of making risotto today, and your timely version with fennel sounds wonderful. I might have to use chicken stock which is what I have at the moment, but I don’t see how it can go wrong with those other ingredients. Thanks also for the tips on what to do with leftovers and for bringing it to Fiesta Friday.


    • I love my cookbooks especially new ones like the authors who gives new versions of traditional recipes. This is a keeper but I will change the broth next time, maybe 1/2 chicken and 1/2 beef. It’s been cooler here finally and was actually in the low 70’s when I made it. Rain and a cold front… I don’t use my oven much like many do and that to me is worse. 30 minutes total cooking time but you are at the stove the entire time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet the beef broth makes it really aromatic and homey – and I like the way you think, with doubling the cheese! Your trip to Italy sounds like it was a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing this at Fiesta Friday!


    • Thanks – I loved the flavor of the beef broth but not the color it gave the rice. I make a rice pilaf with 1/2 chicken and 1/2 beef broth and will think about using that combination the next time I make it. We toured Italy from top to bottom (as far as the Amalfi Coast)


  3. This risotto looks delicious! I don’t cook much with fennel bulb but recently had a chicken dish with fennel that I absolutely loved. So want to try more fennel dishes now- and what a perfect recipe I got here at your blog Judy! Thanks for sharing the tip about the rice as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.