The other day, my wife and I ventured into town to go out for dinner, and we found ourselves at OldStone, which is a very unique restaurant in that it is situated in the sanctuary of an old Methodist church. We’d been wanting to visit for a while given the setting, and we are very glad we went. Our meal was incredible…and we also found inspiration for this dish in one of their specials! The particular offering was a chicken dish with a jalapeno/bacon risotto.
That got us thinking about using bacon in a risotto. Given that my sister is the only person who’s ever really made Brussels Sprouts that my kid likes (Bacon and Brussels Sprouts), I figured I’d try my luck. I ran the idea by him, and he was on board…although he did tell me it probably wouldn’t compare to Aunt Sarah’s dish.
So, I got to work building this risotto. I’m glad I did because it was a big hit…I’m even allowed to make it again! We served our risotto as an entree, but if you’re looking for a little more, we think Seared Sea Scallops would be a fantastically indulgent pairing as well!
Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
- 1 Cup of Arborio Rice
- 4-5 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Milk
- Brussels Sprouts
- Black Pepper
- Prep your veggies:
- Dice your onions
- Peel and slice your garlic
- Hold your Brussels Sprouts by the connection end, and slice thin strips working from the top down towards the stalk. For some pictures on this, check out our Shaved Brussels Sprouts post.
- Cut excess fat off your bacon as desired, and then slice into ribbons.
- Heat a little butter in a large pot or pan with steep sides (this will be your risotto pan as well), and cook your bacon until it becomes crispy. Then, remove your bacon and set aside.
- Add your onions and garlic to the pan you used to cook your bacon, and sautee in the bacon grease until they begin to caramelize.
- As your onions cook, pour your stock into a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
- When your onions begin to caramelize, add your shaved brussels sprouts into the pan, and sautee until they soften.
- When your sprouts are ready, pour your rice into the risotto pan, and stir to combine with your onions, garlic, and sprouts. Sautee together for a few minutes.
- Pour in one cup of your stock, and set the heat to low under your risotto pan. Allow the rice to absorb most of the liquid, and then add another cup of stock. Keep doing this until all of your stock is absorbed.
- During the final stock absorption, heat your milk to a low simmer. When the stock is fully absorbed, add in your milk, bacon, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
- When your milk is absorbed, and your risotto is creamy, you’re good to go!
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!