Red Wine Risotto with Beef and Mushrooms

Bear with me as I patiently wait for spring and inspiration for warm weather cooking.

In the fall, when the weather is grey and cold, I love lighting the fire. I look forward to all the slow-cooked, braised meats, long-simmering soups and tender, hearty stews. Planning on what to cook next is exciting.

In April, when the weather is still grey and cold, I’m sick of lighting the fire, I don’t want anything slow-cooked or long-simmering. I want grilled vegetables, barbecued meats and salads.

That’s not happening….

So I will continue to make stir-fries and risottos until the sun shines.

If you’re enjoying similar crappy weather, perhaps you’ll enjoy my quick, easy can’t-wait-for-sunshine dishes.

This risotto is slightly different in that it uses beef broth and red wine, which gives it an interesting color.  

Red Wine Risotto with Beef and Mushrooms

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) red wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540gr) beef broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated  (about 2oz, 60gr)
  • Condimenti
  • 6oz (180gr) ground beef (mince)
  • 6oz (180gr) cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Red Wine Risotto with Beef and Mushrooms


  • Heat beef broth and keep hot over low heat. 
  • In medium saucepan heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of broth, stir. 
  • When broth is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  If more broth is needed add it 1/6 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate.
  • Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
  • It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff. 
  • Condimenti
  • Sauté onion and carrot in 1 tsp oil over medium heat until tender
  • Add beef, breaking it up as it browns.
  • Add mushrooms, paprika, reduce heat, and let cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Keep warm until needed.

Note:  It is not necessary to stir constantly, just often and somewhat vigorously.

I mowed the field today.

Well, I mowed the part that wasn’t waterlogged.

I hate doing the first cut of the year.  

I have to re-establish the safe areas….

Making sure I don’t go too close to the edge of our field that I tip over into the farmer’s field.

Making sure I get the corners cut right so a wheel doesn’t slip off the edge and I get stuck.

Once I do the first pass in the spring I can follow it for the rest of the summer – and once the first pass is done I know (or think) that the mower won’t tip.  Mon mari assures me that it has a very low center of gravity and is perfectly safe.  

Yeah, right….

I also hate mowing while wearing my winter jacket and hat.

What’s you favorite spring activity?


Are you going to be lost when Google reader says farewell?

6 thoughts on “Red Wine Risotto with Beef and Mushrooms”

  1. I’m not sure what the Windows world is doing about the loss of Google reader, but on the Mac side, I created a file (.opml) of my RSS feeds and migrated them to an application called NetNewsWire. There was some manual adjusting of feeds (such as making new folders like “COOKING,” “NEWS,” etc., and then moving the feeds into the appropriate folder, but that only took a couple of hours. And I have tons and tons of feeds. I bet there is similar (and probably more of, and better) in the Windows world.
    Ma femme just said no to red wine risotto and then gave (after 24 years of marriage) that she doesn’t like risotto at all. She then proceeded to state that it tastes like overcooked rice, “like I’d make it.” I briefly thought that she may have been on to something these decades, some kind of Zen-like approach that converts Uncle Ben’s into amazing risotto through meditation (ignoring the pot) and an acute observance of the transience of life (ignoring the pot).
    But, as she’s never lived in Asia or adopted Asian beliefs, and realizing this was not a good time to mention that her mother was English who never knew risotto from Rice-A-Roni, I tried to shift the conversation to Asian rice cookers, hoping to bring up that one can make risotto in a “fuzzy logic” device straight out of Japan.
    But we were interrupted by the chicken jerky strips (a healthier treat for the dogs we’ve started doing) finishing off in the dehydrator. The conversation shifted.
    Sometimes, a battle avoided, or at least not deliberately charged into, is a battle won.

  2. Katie – I’m with you…I have been dreaming about all the summer fresh garden produce. Those gorgeous vegetables can’t get here soon enough! As for the rain…it does not want to seem to stop!

  3. Phoenicia, What Dan says LOL… It is / was an aggregator for RSS feeds.
    Dan, reminds me of the time I was in the US, and making our (son’s and mine) favorite Poached Eggs in Red Wine for dinner. After eating, his SO said that she didn’t really like eggs in red wine…. and, as long as we were on the subject, she didn’t really like anything in red wine… Son was very disappointed – no more Coq au Vin, no more Boeuf Bourgingon… A sad day. I prefer not to think about a life without red wine and risotto….
    Ina, please let it come soon!

  4. I’m guessing I’ve tried all of the newsreaders out there since Google’s official announcement. Newsblur is working for me so far, but I really hate that Google just quits things for no obvious reasons. Not like they’re losing money with it. Millions used it. Just kind of sucks.
    My question is though, is the son’s SO still his SO? I can’t imagine NOT cooking with red wine!

  5. Interesting colour indeed! It seems like an ideal choice for a candlelight dinner.
    As for your son’s misguided SO: No red wine?? At all??? That’s madness.
    The other madness is that spring refuses to spring here too. We went out for a bike ride today – I LOVE the feeling of freedom when bikeriding without having to wear so many layers that it’s impossible to move. It was allegedly 10C. I DON’T think so. We were freezing. We turned around early and came home to sulk.
    Things are looking up though. I hear a wine cork popping. Red wine, of course. It will go beautifully with roast chicken and potatoes.

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