Usually, not doing things “the proper way” is a sure sign that the result will not be as good as it could. It’s usually something bland that might resemble the original article but is just something else. Risotto is one of those things, it should take time, right?
Not quite, and here’s the thing: by making risotto in a pressure cooker you can actually get better control and concentrate the flavor molecules from the stock and wine into the rice instead of spreading them all around the kitchen in addition to cutting the cook time by a factor of five. We originally got the idea from Modernist Cuisine at home, but it was kinda loose on details except for the cooking time for risotto-rice varieties (6 minutes).
With a bit of experimentation we have have found what we believe to be a good ratio of wine and stock to rice that will result in a good foundation for further tuning. An additional benefit of the closed vessel is the repeatability; if you want the risotto a little chewier just reduce the cooking time by a minute, increase the wine ratio for a more tangy risotto and so on.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, the old fashioned way of making risotto is very lovely as well. After toasting the rice in the pan, work on medium heat. Add the wine and let it reduce. When almost completely absorbed, add a good splash of stock (ca. 1.5 dl). Let it reduce and continue this process until the rice is al dente. Finish in the same way as described below. It will take longer time, around 25-40 minutes, but you don’t have to fiddle around with other gear than normal pots and pans.
Pressure cooker risotto with sous-vide pork tenderloin.
No matter the way it’s made, one of the most important ingredients in getting the risotto to come together is the Parmiggiano-Reggiano (or similar) cheese. However, only add it at the very end right before serving and never re-heat a risotto where cheese has been added. The Italians also usually use Mascarpone to finish it off, but we have no qualms about using cream and butter. A good risotto is also creamy, but not to the point of porridge, and should flat out if the plate is shaken a little.
Risotto is a very Italian dish, but the base works very well with one the favorite cuts of meat in Sweden: pork tenderloin. With a little bacon and a cashew nut and parsley pesto we have a very satisfying bastard of a dish that is an excellent start for further experimentation. Try adding mushrooms and brown chicken stock to the risotto and serve it with roasted poultry, or add some blanched asparagus together with blended asparagus purée to create a vegetarian risotto starter.
Pressure Cooker Risotto with Pork Tenderloin and Cashew and Parsley Pesto
- 1 pork tenderloin (ca. 600-800 g)
Sous-vide Pork Tenderloin
- Pre-heat a sous-vide bath to 62 degrees C. Trim a pork tenderloin and remove the tendons, put into a sous-vide bag (or zip-loc) and lower into the heated bath. Let it cook for 1 hour (up to 1:30 for optimal results) and then rest for 15 minutes under aluminum foil. This gives a perfect medium tenderloin, try 65 degrees C for a medium-well result.
- After the meat has rested, heat a pan to maximum heat and add a little butter and oil. Sear on all sides as quickly as possible, using a blowtorch to help out if possible. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Let the tenderloin rest for 10 minutes under aluminum foil before cutting into 2 cm slices.
- 2 dl Arborio rice
- 2 dl white wine
- 3 dl vegetable stock
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 25 g butter
- 15 ml double cream
- 1-2 dl grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- finely chopped thyme
Pressure Cooker Risotto
- Fry the chopped onion in the pressure cooker pot on medium heat until it softens. In the meantime, rinse the rice under cold water and add once the onion is done. Fry for another minute.
- Add the wine and let it come to a boil, then add the stock and secure the pressure cooker lid. Let it come to a boil on high temperature and then reduce to low. Boil at max pressure for 6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and put under running, cold water to normalize the pressure. Unlock and remove the lid once the safety valve have popped in. Finish by stirring in butter and cream and a little finely chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper and add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano right before serving (ca. 1.5 dl).
- 1 dl cashew nuts
- 2 dl lightly compacted italian parsley leaves
- 1 dl grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 dl olive oil
Parsley and Cashew Nut Pesto
- Pick the parsley leaves and put it together with the grated cheese, nuts and garlic clove in a blender (an immersion blender and a regular bowl also works fine). Pulse a few times to break up the biggest bits.
- Add 1/3 of the olive oil and blend further. Add the rest of the oil in small batches and make sure that no big bits are stuck or don’t get blended. Season with salt and a little black pepper.
- To store, put into a jar and cover the top with olive oil.
- 140 g dry-cured bacon
- Cut the bacon into quarter slices (around 4 cm) and place into a heated pan (medium-high heat). Stir the bacon in the hot pan for about 30 seconds and then lower the heat to medium and let the bacon slowly fry until the fat has rendered and they are crispy, around 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from pan and let some of the fat be absorbed on a paper towel.
- Place 150-200 g of pork tenderloin in a row on a plate (ca. 4 slices). Scoop some pesto along the side of the tenderloin. Make a pile of risotto along the pesto. Spoon some of the olive oil from the pesto on top of the risotto. Grate a little Parmigiano-Reggiano over and insert bacon pieces on top of the risotto. Season with a little salt.