Risotto Milanese

Risotto Milanese is the traditional accompaniment served with osso buco in Italy. The creamy rice is the perfect counterpart to the tender fall off the bone veal shanks. Normally risottos are made with chicken stock, but this recipe called for beef broth. The beef broth added a hearty deep flavor to the rice making it rich and velvety which I enjoyed with every returning bite.

I've made risotto in the past however I made this one a little "differently." Usually I'm like a hovering parent with the pot attached to my hip, stalking and stirring - literally for the entire 40 minutes. But this time I used more broth with each addition to the risotto and only stirred it a few times every few minutes. What transpired was a wonderful risotto cooked in less time then the past. Win - win! Risotto really is a labor of love, but when executed properly, it is well worth it!

Risotto Milanese

2 servings
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4-5 cups beef broth (low sodium)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or I can’t believe it's not butter
• 1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
• 3/4 cup Arborio rice
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the beef broth in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

Note: When plating risotto, the rice should spread a little on the plate. Not like a soup, but not a clumpy mess either.