I know a lot of people are put off making risotto because there is a fear that it's difficult to make or at the very least, time consuming, however it's really not that bad. It certainly isn't difficult to make, but you do need 20 minutes of uninterrupted time when making risotto as it requires a lot of stirring, so take the phone of the hook, put on your favourite music, pour a glass of wine and relax while making yourself a delicious meal!
For a vegetarian option use vegetable stock and miss out the steak and if you like, serve it with some slices of a good quality goats cheese on top.
3 medium raw beetroots
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
300g/ 10.5oz Arborio or carnaroli rice
125ml white wine
1250ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
2 Sirloin steaks
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pea shoots (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ 400F/ GM 6. Wash and trim the roots and stalks of the beetroot then wrap individually in foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour then leave to cool.
If you would like to avoid pink fingers I would suggest putting on a pair of rubber gloves to peel and cut the beetroot, however quite often I don't bother as I find it washes off if you are prepared to scrub a little! A tip that I would recommend however, is to put a piece of wax paper or baking parchment on your chopping board to save that from being stained bright pink. Peel the beetroots then roughly chop 2 of them. Put the chopped beetroots into either a blender or a jug and use a hand-held blender to puree them until they are completely smooth then set aside. Slice the remaining beetroot as thinly as you can then set aside for until you are ready to serve the meal.
Put the stock in a pan and keep over a low heat as it’s important to keep it hot whilst you are making the risotto so the rice can absorb it easily.
In a large frying pan melt 1 tbsp of the butter with the oil then sauté the onion for 5 minutes, being careful not to colour it.
While the onion is sauteing heat a griddle or frying pan until really hot (if you prefer you can also cook the steak on a barbecue as Mr. Vanilla normally does!). Drizzle a little oil over the steaks then season with some salt and pepper. Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, then remove and cover with tin foil to rest while you continue cooking the risotto.
Add the garlic to the onion and cook for another minute then increase the heat slightly and add the rice. Stir well so that every grain of rice is covered in the butter and onion mix. Cook for 1 minute stirring continuously then add the wine. Once it has been absorbed by the rice, you can start adding the stock. It is important that you only add a ladle or two at a time and let the rice absorb all of it before you add anymore. Keep stirring it so that it doesn’t stick and reduce the heat slightly. After a few ladles of stock season the risotto with salt and pepper then add the pureed beetroot and stir well. Continue to add the stock and keep stirring as you do so. After about 15 minutes check the rice to see if it is cooked. If it still has too much bite, continue adding the stock until it is al dente.
When the risotto is ready remove from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter in small cubes over the top of the risotto, along with 3 tbsp of the Parmesan and the parsley. Cover with a lid and leave for 1 minute.
While the risotto is sitting slice the steaks into thin pieces. Add any juices from the steak to the risotto and stir gently to mix it all in along with the melted butter, Parmesan and parsley.
Spoon the risotto onto 4 serving plates then top with some of the steak. Garnish with a few slices of beetroot and if using I like to top it all with some fresh pea shoots. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and finish with some shavings of Parmesan.