Friday, January 04, 2008

A makeshift stock for risotto

Wanting to make risotto, and having no stock in the house, I concocted this from the few vegetables that were lying around. Of course, the vegetables may be varied; and the quantity of water given here is not a strict guide. I did not measure it: I poured enough water over the vegetables to give a generous covering.

6 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1/2 chicken stock cube
1.5 l water

Soften the shallots and garlic in a knob of butter for about five minutes, adding a little more butter if the vegetables catch. Throw in the stock cube and the carrots, pour over the water, bring to the boil, and simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes.

This made enough stock for a risotto consisting of 300 g of arborio rice.

The instruction to leave the pan uncovered stems from my belief, never properly tested, that stocks and soups taste fresher if cooked in this way. My suspicion is that steam condensed on a pan lid and then falling back into the contents does not enhance flavour. Or perhaps it is because the cooking process is faster in a covered pan -- the flavour of stocks and soups deteriorates if they are overcooked.

Recipe for my mushroom risotto to follow on Monday. Meanwhile, there is more on risottos here.

No comments: