Finally updating my blog after a year. Sorry folks, it's been a bit. The blog is going to change a bit to encompass some of my other past times, most notably my little underground restaurant. So yes, I will not just be limiting myself to pork any more. I hope I don't offend too many people but it's time to get back to business.
This meal was last minute, but it turned out ok. I didn't have much to work with, but spied some arborio rice in the pantry and of course i had some homemade bacon. So this is what it inspired. It was a nice twist on classic risotto. The ancho added some subtle smokey heat which was balanced out by the carmelized dates and the bacon added some savory quality, plus i used the rendered fat for the risotto.
I paired the meal with a rich Pinot Gris from Raptor Ridge.
1/2 Dried Ancho reconstituted in hot water
1 cup Arborio Rice
3 cups heated beef stock (preferably homemade)
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1/2 a Red Onion diced
1 1/2 cup full-bodied white wine
1/2 cup of parmesan-reggiano
lime zest and cotija cheese to garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Puree the reconstituted ancho with the wine
Bring stock to a simmer in a stockpot over medium-low heat; reduce heat to low. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pot, heat the previously rendered pork fat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the rice mixture and cook over medium heat for about one minute, stirring to coat. Add the white wine/ chile mixture and stir until the mixture is absorbed, about 30 seconds.
Add the first addition of simmering stock, about 1/2 cup. Stir periodically until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add another addition of stock and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the mixture is creamy and a bit loose; the rice should still have some chew to it. The process will take about 20 minutes.
Add the the butter and cheese and cut the heat. Incorporate until the risotto is creamy. Taste for salt and pepper. Garnish with lime zest and cotija (aged mexican cow's-milk cheese)
Finished off with homemade bacon and dates that were quickly carmelized in the broiler.