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Risotto Bistecca e Peppare

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Why I Love This Recipe

OK, The accidental success of my “Rumage through the refrigerator because I am too lazy to go to the store” recipe (Risotto alla Gorgonzola e Pancetta) has spawned YET another Risotto recipe. Now I normally don’t cross my meat products… ie. Serve a pork sausage rice dish with chicken or seafood. But I had to pair the blue cheese risotto with something, since I had a holiday house guest. I would have been more than happy to go sit in a corner and eat directly from the pan with a big wooden spoon, my house guest might have found that a little odd. I chose what I had on hand, which was a couple of rib eye steaks, then I peppered and pan seared them. I consoled myself with the fact that Pancetta is like bacon, and since “Filet Mignon” is wrapped in bacon it was OK. Now I have always known of the classic combination of Beef and Blue cheese, in the academic sense, for it has been a LONG time since I have partaken. I am not a devoted beef eater like most of America and prefer Lamb, Cheven or Elk as a red meat. The flavor wave I was surfing, though, was incredibly intoxicating. This got me thinking of a Beef and Blue Cheese Risotto, which spawned other beef favorites like Beef and Horseradish Risotto or Peppered Steak Risotto and, of course the “pièce de résistance”, Risotto alla Stroganov. Mmmmm…….. Stroganov. Although, sour cream may qualify as ‘Cream’ in which case it would be Mantecato alla Stroganov.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 cup Arborio rice
4 oz Beef rib eye, diced small
Lots of Cracked black pepper
1 Shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 cup Warm Red Zinfandel (Not That White stuff)
2 1/2 - 3 cups Beef or Mushroom Stock (Especially for the Risotto alla Stroganov)
Kosher salt to taste
2 TB olive oil
1 TB unsalted butter
Optional -- 2 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled for garnish
Optional -- 2 -3 tsp prepared Horseradish and a sprinkle of Chives
Optional -- 2-3 TB Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche


In a small bowl, toss diced beef with 1 TB olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper; let rest.

Add 1 TB Olive oil to a saucepan set over medium heat, sweat shallot for a few minutes – just before the shallot becomes transparent, add the garlic and sweat a little longer (Do not let the garlic brown).

Add the Peppered beef to the sauce pan and sauté until well browned.

Empty the contents of the sauce pan into a clean bowl and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add 1 TB olive oil to the empty sauce pan and return to heat.

Add the rice, together with a pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper.

Cook Stirring constantly over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the Red Zinfandel. (Scrape any fond from cooking the beef)

Add the first ladle of broth and cook; stirring until broth is absorbed.

Continue in this manner until you have used about 2 cups of stock.

Add the beef/shallot/garlic/pepper mixture to the risotto and another ½ cup of stock.

Once this cooks down, check to see if the rice is al dente, if not, add the remaining ½ cup of stock.

Add Butter to the pot; stir until melted.

Cover and let rest for 3 minutes.

Serve as is for Risotto Bistecca e Peppare

---Or sprinkle Gorgonzola over the top or mixed in, your choice. (Risotto Bistecca Blu)

---Or Toss in 2 – 3 tsp horseradish; Stir until combined (Risotto Bistecca e Rafanare)

---Or Add 2 – 3 TB Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche (Risotto Alla Stroganov)

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