I would describe the recipe below as quite manly as the ingredients that are used are hearty and somewhat earthy. However I don’t think risotto is often associated as being a masculine meal but I hope that the chaps trying this recipe will be pleasantly surprised by this little number. If you are looking for a recipe for date night then I would recommend giving this recipe a go.
For those of you that have not made a risotto before the most important thing to remember is not to rush. A risotto works best when you cook it on a low heat adding the stock a little at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. It is important that whilst doing this you stir it regularly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Provided that you take your time you will end up with a beautifully creamy risotto – so make sure when you are cooking a risotto that you give yourself at least 20-30 minutes to make it!
The other thing I would say for those of you that are put off by this recipe because there are too many elements don’t be as there really are only 6 steps. Here is the breakdown of what you need to do:
- Wash and put the red peppers in the oven – no need to remove the core and seeds at this point.
- Whilst the peppers are cooking prepare your risotto. Once it is cooked – cover and leave to one side whilst you cook the steak and green vegetables.
- Boil or steam green vegetables.
- Heat frying pan and cook the steak.
- Whilst the steak is resting and the vegetables are draining the vegetables – core and seed the peppers.
- Cut the steak into strip and plate up.
It really is that straightforward I promise. The only downside to this recipe is that there is a lot of washing up – sorry about that…
My final comment is that I tend to find the more charred the peppers the better the flavour, so don’t worry if the skin on the peppers is black – that is what you are aiming for. Enjoy!
Mushroom and ale risotto served in a roasted red pepper with rare steak strips
Preparation time: 1 hr
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- 200g risotto rice
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 celery stick (finely diced)
- 6 chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
- 5-6 porcini mushrooms (roughly chopped and rehydrated in 100ml boiling water)
- 400ml beef stock
- 200ml ale (use a bitter ale if you can)
- 50g cheddar grated
- 4 red peppers
- 2 sirloin beef steaks (1/2 a steak per person)
- freshly chopped parsley (for garnishing)
- Wash the peppers then place on a roasting tray and cook in an oven at 190°C for 30 minutes or until the skin has blackened.
- Prepare the risotto – heat some olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and sweat the onions and garlic on a low heat.
- Once the onions are translucent add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Add the rice and stir well.
- Gradually add the ale a little at a time until fully absorbed.
- Next add the porcini mushrooms and the liquid they have been rehydrated in – stirring until the liquid has been fully absorbed.
- Slowly add the stock a little at a time stirring continuously until fully absorbed. Do not be tempted rush this step!
- Finally stir in the cheese and season as necessary.
- Once the risotto is cooked cover and set to one side.
- Put your green vegetables on to boil/steam at this point and cook as required.
- Place a griddle pan or heavy frying pan on a high heat – it is important that the pan is very hot before you add the steak. Rub olive oil into both sides of the steak and season. Place on the hot pan and cook on each side for two minutes. Remove from pan, and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Whilst the beef is resting finish preparing the peppers, using scissors slit the pepper down the middle and remove seeds and stem using a spoon.
- Just before plating up, cut off any fat from the steaks and cut into strips.
- Place one pepper on each plate, spoon some risotto into the middle and garnish with parsley. Add the steak strips (half a steak per person) and the green vegetables. Serve immediately.
Tip: Warm your plates in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.