Risotto alla Milanese BRAISED RICE WITH SAFFRON
To serve 6 to 8
7 cups chicken stock, fresh or canned
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped uncooked beef
2 cups plain white raw rice, preferably
imported Italian rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron or
saffron threads crushed to a powder
4 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup freshly grated imported
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and keep
it barely simmering over low heat. In a heavy 3-quart flameproof casserole,
melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Cook the onions in the
butter, stirring frequently, for 7 or 8 minutes. Do not let them brown. Stir
in the optional marrow, then add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 or 2
minutes, or until the grains glisten with butter and are somewhat opaque.
Pour in the wine and boil it until it is almost completely absorbed. Then
add 2 cups of the simmering· stock to the rice and cook uncovered, stirring
occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add 2 more cups of
stock and cook, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, stir the saffron into 2
cups of stock and let it steep for a few minutes. Then pour it over the rice.
Cook until the stock is completely absorbed.
By now the rice should be tender. If it is still firm, add the remaining
stock ½ cup at a time-and continue cooking and stirring until the rice
is soft. Stir in 4 tablespoons of soft butter and the grated cheese with a
fork, taking care not to mash the rice. Serve at once while the rice is creamy
and piping hot.