Risotto, that is, Italian rice, is one recipe you should have on hand for those times when dinner is late and you’re tired, but looking for a good meal nonetheless. It’s really hard to go wrong with venison risotto, but you can if you have the wrong type of rice. You need to have risotto rice, which is typically Arborio rice if you live in the United States, although there are other risotto rice such as Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, Roma, Ribe and Baldo. What’s the difference between that and regular rice? Well, it’s a shorter grain that doesn’t fall apart into mush when you cook it in the risotto style. That alone is worth getting the good stuff and not the cheap store brand.
The trick to making venison risotto is in the way it is cooked. Unlike “regular” rice, you cook it in a skillet on top of the stove with the lid off, on medium heat. You add a cup of liquid at a time and let it simmer in the pan until the rice absorbs the water, or until the liquid evaporates, and add the next cup of liquid. The liquid can be water, wine, stock, or broth.
Risotto is extremely versatile. You can make it with meat, or without. You can add different vegetables, or not. And you can add mushrooms, wine, and herbs for whatever flavor you’d prefer. It really is a great go-to meal. So, when you’re stuck for a quick meal, try risotto. As a bonus, it’s also low cost, relatively speaking.
My version of risotto uses venison of any type. Use deer, elk, moose, bear, or whatever game meat strikes your fancy. Because it lends itself well to being meatless, you can offer it as a side dish to a roast or steaks. Your call.
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 1 1/2 cups risotto rice arborio or other risotto type
- 1 lb round steak cut into bite-sized portions
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- garlic powder to taste
- 1 cup mushrooms optional
- 1 cup wine any type
- 2 cups beef or venison broth can use boullion
- 1 package frozen vegetables any type
- 3 cups water can use more, if risotto is too firm
- 1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese grated
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs or 2 tsp dried, optional
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add wine and let simmer down.
- Add broth one cup at a time until absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Add frozen vegetables. Stir.
- Add water, one cup at a time until absorbed.
- Add extra water, if necessary to cook rice al dente. Rice should be creamy.
- Add salt, pepper, and extra garlic powder to taste.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
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