Recipe Milanese saffron risotto

MypinchofItaly

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Also known as risotto giallo (literally “yellow risotto”) or risotto alla Milanese, this very simple dish is one of the most famous symbols of Milan.

As it’s common for any risotto, Italians most often eat it as a piatto unico, the only and main course of a meal; it is not unusual, however, to serve the Milanese Saffron Risotto as a side dish accompanying some Ossobuco alla milanese, mushrooms, a few sausages or even prawns.

Make sure to keep your broth very warm and your butter very cold: this is the secret for a delicious, super creamy, rich risotto.

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10-15 mins | Cooking time: 2h + 20 mins

  • Skirt steak: 250 g
  • Carnaroli or Arborio rice: 180 g
  • Beef bone marrow: 30 g
  • Parmigiano cheese, grated: 30-40 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 25 g
  • Saffron pistils: 0,125 g
  • White wine, dry: 75 ml
  • Celery: about 1 sprig
  • Onions, medium-sized: 1
  • Carrots: 1
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
Method

Start by preparing the broth, which must be then kept at high temperature (close to boiling) throughout the preparation of the risotto. Wash the carrot very carefully and cut it roughly in big pieces, about two or three, without peeling it. Cut the celery in the same way. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Warm up a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and lightly brown the vegetables, along with the skirt steak. Pour in 1 liter of water and let it simmer on low fire for at least 2 hours. Season to taste and drain the broth to remove the vegetables and the meat.

Tip: To give your broth even more flavour, try adding to it a handful of fresh parsley and some whole pepper grains.

Put the saffron pistils in a small bowl or cup and cover them with warm broth; set them aside for about 20 minutes.

Clean the remaining onion and mince it very finely. Melt half of the butter in a large pan and brown the onion on low heat. You can already add a tablespoon of broth if the onion tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the beef bone marrow to the onion and stir thoroughly, then add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes on medium heat. When the rice is toasted, add the white wine and let it simmer on high heat until it has evaporated completely. Turn the heat down and cook the rice by continuously adding just about enough warm broth to cover the rice, stirring throughout the whole process to prevent the risotto from burning. It’s very important for the broth to be hot, almost boiling, or it will prevent the rice from cooking properly by cooling it down.

Add the saffron pistils to the risotto, along with their broth and season to taste.

Turn off the heat and add the remaining butter, which must be very cold, and half of the grated Parmigiano. Mix thoroughly, then cover the pan with a lid and leave it to rest for 1 or 2 minutes before serving it topped with another Parmigiano sprinkle if you want.
 

MypinchofItaly

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Very nice! There's just enough saffron to lend that floral character without overpowering it. I also like the very thoughtful technique on the preparation of the rice.
I'm glad you like it. Saffron risotto is a must in Milanese cuisine and as I was born and raised in Milan, I could not escape knowing (and appreciate) this recipe. I am also a fan of risotto, so I was even better at learning how to cook it.
 
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medtran49

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I saw this and told Craig we could make 1 of his favorite meals, ropa vieja, and make 1 of mine, risotto. We usually end up throwing away a good bit of the liquid we use to cook the flank steak, though do use part of it for the ropa vieja, as it is salted. We've found that trying to freeze and use it later usually ends up with overly salty food as we cook with unsalted broth/stock and always forget it is salted.

Lovely looking recipe @MypinchofItaly !
 

MypinchofItaly

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I saw this and told Craig we could make 1 of his favorite meals, ropa vieja, and make 1 of mine, risotto. We usually end up throwing away a good bit of the liquid we use to cook the flank steak, though do use part of it for the ropa vieja, as it is salted. We've found that trying to freeze and use it later usually ends up with overly salty food as we cook with unsalted broth/stock and always forget it is salted.

Lovely looking recipe @MypinchofItaly !
Thank you very much @medtran49!
Sorry, I don't know what ropa vieja is......
 

medtran49

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Thank you very much @medtran49!
Sorry, I don't know what ropa vieja is......
It's a Cuban dish, ropa vieja. Craig loves it. I really like it. We serve over rice and usually with ripe plantains, which you probably can't get unfortunately. I'll just add the veges per your recipe as they will only make the flank steak taste better.
 
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MypinchofItaly

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It's a Cuban dish, ropa vieja. Craig loves it. I really like it. We serve over rice and usually with ripe plantains, which you probably can't get unfortunately. I'll just add the veges per your recipe as they will only make the flank steak taste better.
Thank you! Always good to learn something new
mmm, you are right, I can't get plantains very easily, but I want to look for them
 

CraigC

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Thank you! Always good to learn something new
mmm, you are right, I can't get plantains very easily, but I want to look for them
If you serve it to guests, you can tell them they're eating old clothes or rags as that is what Ropa Veija means.
 
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