Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese is the perfect dish to accompany Ossobuco. It is very easy to make your own beef stock, as butchers are quite happy to sell beef or veal bones very cheaply. The beef stock can be made by placing beef bones, chopped onion, leek, carrot and celery with bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, sea salt and water in a big stock pot, bringing to the boil and simmering for about an hour. You then strain the stock and, if you need to freeze it, pour it into a plastic container. Normally Risotto alla Milanese is served quite soft, wavy and moist, but it is up to your own personal preference if you prefer the rice to be well cooked or still al dente.

Ingredients to serve 4 people

1.2 litres of homemade beef stock

2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped

60h. unsmoked pancetta, finely chopped

75g. butter

350g. Arborio or Carnaroli rice

120ml red wine

1tsp. saffron strands dissolved in hot beef stock

Sea salt and pepper

For the mantecatura: some grated Parmiggiano reggiano


To make the soffritto put the finely sliced shallots or onion and pancetta pieces and half of the butter in a pan and sauté till the shallots or onion pieces are soft.

Add the rice and stir well, to coat each grain in the mix.

Pour in the wine, evaporate the alcohol over high heat and keep stirring. Add a ladleful of warm beef stock. Wait for each ladle of stock to be absorbed by the rice before you add another ladle, as you may not need the whole quantity of beef stock to cook the rice. Halfway through the cooking process, add the saffron liquid and keep stirring well. The rice should be cooked al dente in 20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked remove it from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and some freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you need to, remembering that both pancetta and Parmiggiano contain a lot of salt.

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