Properly-cooked risotto will bring out the rich creaminess of the rice's starches, while maintaining an al dente feel to each individual rice grain. A common mistake is to add cheese (usually parmesan) too soon; it will become gooey and unpleasant unless added just before serving. Also, overcooked risotto or risotto allowed to sit before serving becomes gelatinous and gross, so you can’t cook this dish ahead of time.
While preparing the risotto, there will be a period of 10-20 minutes where it seems as though you’re making rice-soup. This dish demands patience.
To make this dish, buy plain Arborio rice, easily found in any grocery store now. Avoid buying any type pre-made or pre-flavored “risotto.”
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup Arborio rice
3 cups beef broth (with an additional cup ready if needed as described below)
1 cup red wine
½ white onion, chopped
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces vegetable of choice (I recommend chopped mushrooms, although asparagus is excellent as well. Almost any vegetable that you like works here)
1 eight ounce rib-eye, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled ahead of time to rare, then chopped (still pink inside)
Romano or Parmesan cheese
1. In a large, somewhat deep sauté pan, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat
2. Add onion and sauté for 1 minute, stirring often
3. Add rice and lower heat to low, mixing with onion
4. Combine wine and broth into one
5. Begin adding broth mix, 1 cup at a time, allowing rice to soak up the moisture while stirring regularly. As the rice soaks up half of each cup of liquid, add an additional cup of liquid. All in all, this process (no pun intended) is fluid and can take anywhere from 18 to 30 minutes.
6. Somewhere around 18 minutes and 3-4 cups of broth into the process, begin checking the rice for doneness. As it gets close to being al dente, add ½ of the vegetables and ½ of the chopped rib-eye. Stir into risotto.
7. When the rice has absorbed almost the perfect amount of broth, add the remainder of the meat and vegetable. If the meat and vegetables soak up too much liquid, add a little more now, creating the perfect consistency.
8. Serve, topping with parmesan or Romano cheese.