Food In My Beard: Shortrib Chocolate Risotto

The first recipe I tried from The Food in my Beard was Pork Belly Mac and Cheese (yup, you read that right) and since then I have been hooked on Dan’s beard blog! Dan and I like a lot of the same things: spicy foods, meat, and exotic cuisine from random restaurants. I don’t see see a lot of desserts in his blog, but I do see a lot of super creative, mouth-watering recipes. This is an excellent example!

Bianca has quite the sweet tooth huh?

When she asked me to write a post for her blog while she is on vacation, my first thought was Where is my invite to the Philippines?

My SECOND thought was that I wanted to make something savory for you chocoholics that still included the blog’s titular ingredient.  I came up with this deep flavored risotto, filled with things that go really well with chocolate, like chile, red wine, and short ribs.

Risotto is fine and all with boxed stock, but it is 10 times better with the homemade variety.  In fact, I think that risotto and chicken noodle soup are the 2 places where homemade verses boxed stock make the biggest difference.  That’s because in a dish like risotto you keep reducing and reducing the liquid which makes it very concentrated.  If you have a box of stock that doesn’t have an amazing flavor to start with, when it gets concentrated it will be more noticeable.

Since we already have to braise short ribs anyway, we might as well build a stock out of the braising liquid.

Get this in the oven at 300, or let it lightly bubble away on the stovetop for 3 or so hours.

In the meantime I made the cauliflower.  Just chile powder, cocoa powder, salt, and butter.  Roast at 400 until tender.

I’m gonna pull a Zach Morris style “time out” on you guys just to take a second to say that this cauliflower is amazing on it’s own!  If you don’t have the time to make this whole risotto but still want some chocolate with your dinner tonight, make this cauliflower as a side dish.  Time in.

When the beef is ready, shred it up.  It should fall apart nice and easy.

Saute some onions, then toast up the rice grains before adding any liquid.

Red wine goes in next.

Then slowly ladle in your stock as the liquid evaporates and is absorbed by the rice.

When it’s about ready, add the beef back in.

Kill the heat and toss in an ounce of dark chocolate and a ¼ cup parm.

Top with the cauliflower.

Tasty stuff.  Really dark deep flavors.  Just enough chocolate to balance with the other flavors, but not too much to overpower!  Top with more parm.

Shortrib Chocolate Risotto

For the braised ribs:

Package of celery hearts
bunch of carrots
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
2 lbs bone-in short ribs
ANY OR ALL: thyme, parsley, black pepper, mustard seed, coriander, parmesan rind

Sear the ribs on all sides and remove from pan, add the veggies and cook till they soften and some start to brown.  Add the garlic and cook a few minutes.  Add the ribs back in with any accumulated juices.  Add any or all of the optional ingredients.  Fill with water and loosely cover.  Put it in the oven at 300 (or simmer lightly on the stovetop) for 3 hours.

Pull the ribs out of the stock and shred them up.  Be sure to only keep the beef and some of the softer fat, discarding any tough gristle.  While you are doing this, crank the heat and allow the stock to boil rapidly with the veggies for another 20 minutes or so.  Finally strain out the solids and reserve the stock.  Skim or separate the fat from the stock and put it on a back burner on low.

For the risotto:

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice
¾ cup red wine
½ cup grated parm
1 oz dark chocolate (70% or higher)

Saute the onion in some olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and the rice and cook 2 more minutes.  Add the wine and cook 3 minutes stirring often.  As the liquid evaporates slowly add the stock ladle by ladle to the rice stirring often.  This process should take 20 to 30 minutes.  When the rice is just about cooked, add the shredded beef to the risotto and let it heat fully.  Add some more stock if necessary (risotto should be very loose/creamy and not “stand up” if placed on a plate) then kill the heat and add the parm and chocolate.  Mix until melted and combined.

For the cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chile powder (I used a mix of ancho and Anaheim)
½ Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

Break the cauliflower up into bite sized florets.  In a large bowl, toss the florets with the chile and cocoa powders.  Add the butter and toss until coated.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until tender.

Put your risotto on a plate, top with cauliflower, and enjoy!!!


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