Steak and Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Mozzarella

Last spring, Handsome Greg and I flew to Utah to visit my hilarious sister, Colleen, and her brilliant children, Rolly, Maddie, and Charlie. There was no meal on the plane, and by the time we landed in Salt Lake City, picked up the rental car, drove to Layton, and checked into our hotel, we were famished. So we stopped for lunch/dinner at a restaurant by the hotel before heading to Colleen’s, where I had the most delicious risotto.

The steak risotto I inhaled at Corbin’s Grille was made with rich, salty beef stock that brought out an earthy meatiness in the wild mushrooms. When I recreated the dish at home, I substituted cremini and white button mushrooms for the more expensive wild mushrooms at Corbin’s, and I chopped in some perfectly delicious smoked mozzarella. Then I added a handful of chives for a little bite.

The rest of our trip with Colleen and the kids provided more fantastic culinary adventures: Maddie introduced me to ice cream dots; Charlie made a truly vile mocktail with water, salt, and sugar substitute packets; and when Greg treated the kids to their very first dinner at Olive Garden, future food critic Rolly tried the minestrone and declared, “The soup is excellent.”

I really miss those guys. Also? Being an aunt is the best job ever.

Recipe below the fold

Steak and Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Mozzarella
4-6 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
16-ounce top sirloin steak
Vegetable oil
2 ounces grated Parmesan
4 ounces smoked mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Kosher salt to taste

Bring the beef stock to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Take the steak out of the fridge and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large saucepan, and stir in the onion. Cook over medium heat to soften the onion, but do not brown. Add the rice, stirring to coat with oil, and toast for about 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups of warm beef stock, and bring it just to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low, and stir the rice until the liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding beef stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the rice is al dente, about 18 to 20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat a bit of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Add the steak and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, to medium rare. Set aside for a few minutes to rest. Slice the steak on the bias and against the grain of the meat.

When the rice is done, stir in the butter, smoked mozzarella, and parmesan. Remove from the heat and add the chives and mushrooms with their liquid. Mix well and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with the seared steak.

Linked to: A Southern Fairytale, It’s a Keeper
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