First, can we please laugh at my risotto photos? It’s quite a challenge to take pretty pictures of something that is of beige and brown hues, with a creamy texture at that, without it looking like a pile of blech! And that explains the contrived placement of the asparagus – that’s me trying to be all fancy dancy because I was grasping for straws.
I also decided to say hello through the fork’s reflection. Hi.
Let’s move on to the important things – like the delusion of risotto being a complicated dish to nail. Risotto has always been on my to-do list, but I’ve procrastinated for fear of messing it up. After making it, I couldn’t help but give myself the ol’ forehead slap. What was I so afraid of? Risotto is easy peasy! My fear may have had to do with the fact that whenever Chef Gordon Ramsey chews someone out, it’s because they “mucked up the risotto”. (Except he obviously never used the word mucked… but close.)
I’ve made this risotto dish several times now and it’s always been a scrumptious hit. It’s creamy, flavorful, and the kicker with this particular risotto? I substituted the usual white wine for a traditional lager.
Oh yes, yes I did.
I’m not actually sure that I’ll ever use white wine in a risotto again! The beer added such a nice depth of flavor – especially with the mushrooms! Beer and mushrooms are such great pals. (Remember these Beer Butter Mushrooms? It’s still one of my most popular recipes.)
I have to give big thanks to Gennaro Contaldo and his wonderful YouTube video where he shows viewers how to make risotto four ways. Watching how he casually but so elegantly puts the dishes together was what gave me the confidence to go ahead and give it a whirl. He is, in it’s truest definition, fantastic! And Jamie Oliver is his protégé and I do love my Jamie!
For step-by-step instructions, check out that link. He does a way better job than I could at showing you how easy it is to make a lovely risotto. (I can’t wait to try a pumpkin risotto in the fall!)
In addition to beer, I added red onions, asparagus, and cremini mushrooms to my dish.
Asparagus is my favorite veg these days, and cremini mushrooms own the mushroom kingdom in my humble opinion.
Beer Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus
- 2 tablespoons + 1 of butter divided
- 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 oz red onion approx. 1/2 red onion, diced
- 5.5 oz asparagus approx. 10 spears, see photos, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces - leave stems
- 3 oz cremini mushrooms 3-4 large cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup traditional lager
- 14 oz fl vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons grated asiago cheese
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over moderate heat.
- Add olive oil and stir.
- Add the red onion and simmer until the onions sweat - approx. 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the arborio rice and toast, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
- Add the beer, stir, and add 7 oz of the vegetable broth.
- At this point, you're going to stir constantly for the next 10 minutes. The arborio rice will gradually soak in the liquids and become creamy.
- After 10 minutes, add the mushrooms, asparagus, and the remaining 7 oz of liquid.
- Stir constantly for another 10 minutes.
- Once the 10 minutes is up, remove from heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter, asiago cheese, and stir to mix.
- Cover for 3 minutes.
- Serve immediately.