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Risotto Milanese

Ingredients
2 cups Arborio rice (don't use long grain rice; it won't work)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 TBS cooking olive oil
1 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
6 cups beef stock, still hot
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Pepper

1. Add the olive olive, onions and garlic to a steel, cast iron or aluminum pan and set in a hot oven for a few minutes. Don't burn the garlic.

2. Add the rice, and stir to coat the rice with the olive oil. Return the pan to a hot oven for a few minutes to saute the rice. Do not let the rice turn brown.

3. Add 2 cups of the stock and the wine to the rice and stir the mixture. Return the pan to the oven. The technique with Risotto is to continue to stir the rice and to keep the mixture wet with stock -- this allows the rice to absorb the liquid, and the liquid to mix with the rice's starch to become creamy.

4. Add 1 cup of stock a a time, stir the mixture and return to the oven.

5. When you have 1 cup of stock left (it should take about 20 minutes), your rice should be nearly ready, but a tiny bit crunch on the inside. Don't forget that one of the characteristics of Arborio rice is that is stays firm in the center, and doesn't go mushy. At this point you are ready to finish the dish.

6. Add the last cup of stock and half (1/4 cup) of the Parmesan and stir. Return to pan to the oven for only a few minutes, to melt the cheese and heat the dish through.

6. Cover with the remaining Parmesan a little cracked pepper, and serve immediately.

Hints and Tips

Your Risotto will continue to cook and absorb the liquid after you have taken the pan from the oven, and it is at its best when it is moist and creamy, not dry or chewy. Have everything else ready and bring the Risotto out last.

I have been struck by how wet the great Italian Risottos are. Don't be afraid to serve your a little soupy. It will firm up as it rests, and it is a more authentic dish.

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