I had some braised beef leftover from another meal and I ended up using it in a type of dish l I cook for myself quite often. I decided to share it with you here as it is not only a genuinely good comfort food, it illustrates a particular method of rice cookery.
Now, I should begin by saying that, though I grew up calling this sort of meal a ‘Risotto’, it is actually more of a Pilaf. A proper Risotto is made with short-grain rice and a fair amount of hot broth is stirred in a little at a time to produce a creamy, sometimes even ‘soupy’ result. In my family, however, what we call Risotto was always made with long grain rice and was a much drier dish. The flavor was pretty much Italian, though, and we always served it with Parmesan Cheese, so, since this particular version of ‘Risotto’ has its roots in my English childhood, I am going to henceforth call it a ‘Risotto Inglese’… [
- 1 cup Long Grain Rice;
- 2 cups cubed cooked Beef;
- ½ cup chopped Celery, some leaves included;
- 1 small Carrot, chopped;
- 1 small Tomato, diced after removing seeds and soft pulp;
- ¼ cup chopped Parsley;
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Thyme;
- 1 tsp. Garlic paste;
- 1 ½ cups Chicken Stock;
- ½ cup Tomato Sauce;
- 1 pinch each Salt and Pepper.
Here is the braised beef I cut into cubes. It was first seasoned with a little garlic salt, then seared, and cooked with onions and a little beef stock. You can use any cooked beef you like but make sure it is not so well-done that it falls apart when cooked with the rice. It still should retain some firm chewiness.
By the way, the parsley and the beef get added to the rice at the same time so I put them in the same container for the time being…
First, heat 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a pot and saute the celery, carrot, garlic and thyme until they soften and flavor the cooking fat.
Add the rice and the chopped tomato and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat the rice grains in the fat.
Add the stock and the tomato sauce along with the salt and pepper and allow everything to come to a boil. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked and almost all the liquid is completely absorbed, stir in the beef and parsley and cook for a further few minutes until the meat is hot. Plate and serve with some Parmesan Cheese, and a little extra for garnish, if desired.