I am a huge fan of risotto. What’s not to love about that creamy rice topped with whatever you so desire? If you’ve never made risotto before don’t be intimidated, most fortunately, despite it’s reputation as being persnickety, risotto is relatively easy to make. I’m not going to lie to you, I fully admit it requires tending. Plus, it is ideal to serve it more or less immediately after it finishes cooking, which also can be a nuisance. But otherwise risotto is much more do-able then you might imagine. I wouldn’t pick the night the kids are going absolutely bonkers as risotto night, but otherwise we can all handle a little tending, right?
And if your still tempted to skip out let me tell you todays’ risotto is something special. It’s a little different, and so worth the results! What’s the big secret here? Well believe it or not it’s the beer! Risotto is traditionally made with wine, but changing that out for a lovely golden ale creates amazingly rich depth of flavor. Think creamy rice, with a rich ale brown gravy, and earth mushrooms. Plus, this risotto makes a wonderful side dish with just about anything. (Chicken is particularly complimentary.) Do I have you drooling yet?
Thought so. Enjoy!
Mushroom and Ale Risotto
- 1 tablespoon of bacon grease (about 2 tablespoons of butter can be substituted if necessary)
- 2 cups arboro rice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 12 oz bottle of a a pale or golden ale ( a light beer can be substituted if necessary)
- 6 cups beef broth
- 4 oz can of mushrooms
- Fresh grated cheese for serving (asiago or Parmesan work particularly well)
1. Heat a large sauté pan to medium high heat. Add the bacon grease, arboro rice, onion powder and garlic powder to the pan. Allow the rice to toast to a golden brown, stirring periodically to prevent burning.
2. Pour the entire bottle of ale into the pan to deglaze. Expect a dramatic sizzle. Use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.
3. Add the broth to the pan one cup at a time, stirring well and frequently to prevent burning. Allow all the liquid to be fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup.
4. When adding the last can of broth to the pan also add the can of mushrooms.
5. The risotto is done when the rice has absorbed all the broth and has to become creamy. Serve hot topped with fresh grated cheese.
Note* If the beef broth you are using is on the salty side you may want to use only four cups and add two cups of water instead.