Making bone marrow risotto doesn’t need to be a scary, labor intensive process. All it takes is a little love, and A LOT of stirring. Serve this dish along some fancy asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with hollandaise sauce drizzled on top.
- Beef Marrow Bones: Buy beef marrow bones from your local butcher or the freezer section of your local grocery store. Beef bones are cheap, readily available and dense with nutrients.
- Parmesan Cheese: Stirring in some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese just before serving will give the risotto an unami flavor.
- Short Grain Rice: Traditionally, arborio is a short-grain Italian rice that is used for risotto. If you can’t get your hands on it, or want to use a different rice, you can use another Italian rice, called Carnaroli.
- Beef Broth: Using a rice beef broth will give your risotto a deep beef flavor that will compliment the bone marrow.
- Butter: Don’t shy away from the butter in this recipe! Using butter compliments the creamy sauce that is released once the rice is cooked.
How to Make Bone Marrow Risotto
The key to making the perfect risotto is to continue to stir it. You will want to coax the risotto to absorb as much broth as possible. This will not only make the rice tender, but it will also add to the creamy sauce that risotto is known for.
First, create your work station for your risotto. Set up one saucepan and add the beef broth. Allow the broth to steam, but not quite come to a boil. On another burner, heat a shallow frying pan over medium heat and add about three tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the chopped yellow onion.
Fry the onion for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is about 2 minutes past smelling fragrant. Take care not to brown the onion.
Add in the rice to your frying pan and give the rice a good toss or a good stir so that the rice is evenly coated in the butter. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant but not browned.
Then, pour in the dry white wine. Once the wine is absorbed, add in a ladle of the warmed beef broth. Continue stirring until all the broth is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is soft and tender without being soggy. It will take about 20 minutes for the rice to cook and you most likely will not go through all of the broth.
When the rice is finished cooking, stir in the mashed bone marrow, the last two tablespoons of butter and the Parmesan cheese.
Taste your risotto and season to your liking with salt and freshly-ground pepper.
Give the risotto another good stir and then serve into bowls with a beef bone on the side.
Cooking beef bones for their marrow is a fancy restaurants’ best kept secret. It looks incredibly daunting and difficult, when truthfully there is very little skill involved in this recipe.
First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Add the bones to a baking sheet, marrow-side up and season with salt and pepper.
Once the oven is ready, add the bones and bake for about 20 minutes. They are finished baking when the top of the bone is nicely browned and the marrow easily removes from the bones. If you are unsure if they are finished, a couple extra minutes in the oven won’t hurt.
When the bones are finished, reserve one bone for each bone to serve on the side of the bone marrow risotto.
Allow the bones to cool slightly and then scrape the marrow out of the bones and give it a good mash with a fork so it will easily incorporate into the risotto.
Best Rice for the Perfect Italian Risotto
Traditionally, risottos are made with Arborio rice. It’s a starchy, short-grain rice that gives risotto its famously creamy and starchy texture.
Even though Arborio rice is the traditional rice for this dish, there are other options when making risotto. As long as you have yourself a short-grain rice that creates lots of starch when cooked, it should do just fine as a replacement.