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Merlot risotto with tenderloin of beef

Serves 4.Red wine makes a complex risotto that is a deep mahogany color, writes ''Risotto Risotti" author Judith Barrett, a Cambridge resident. The dish is accompanied by beef tenderloin.

MEAT

2 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin, well trimmed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon olive oil
1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Sprinkle the meat all over with salt and pepper.

2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil. When it is very hot, add the meat and brown it on all sides for 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the meat for 18 minutes exactly or until a meat thermometer registers 125 degrees for rare meat.

3. Remove the meat from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and keep in a warm place until ready to serve.

RISOTTO

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups merlot or other dry red wine
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, heating to boiling
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until they begin to soften. Take care not to brown them. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute to coat the grains with the butter mixture.

2. Add the wine 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When all the wine has been added, add the hot broth 1/2 cup at a time. Wait until the rice has absorbed each addition before adding more. Reserve 1/4 cup of the broth.

3. After about 20 minutes of stirring, when the rice is tender but firm, add the remaining 1/4 cup broth, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir well.

4. Cut the tenderloin into 1-inch-thick slices. Spoon the risotto onto 4 warm dinner plates. Add beef and serve.

Adapted from ''Risotto Risotti"

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