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Risotto with bone marrow & black garlic

Risotto mit schwarzem Knoblauch

Culinarily speaking, we Austrians like to think we are quite advanced in the game. Only Italian and French cuisine are given a certain historical superiority. But then we come soon after, certainly far ahead of our German-speaking neighbors and way ahead of English-speaking nations, no matter the continent. However, not much remains of the original Austrian cuisine besides schnitzel, pork roast, and, of course, desserts. Both the offal and soup traditions didn’t survive in popular cuisine post-1945. Recently, when we featured "Turopolje Bat" on our weekly menu, some had concerns that we were actually serving the light-sensitive flying creature.

One of these forgotten specialties is beef marrow. While it is considered a delicacy in the USA, many here turn up their noses at it, deeming it fatty and unhealthy, and isn't there something about BSE and marrow? Since the 2000s, beef marrow has been exclusively sourced from the leg bones of cattle, not the spinal cord (and only the latter was associated with BSE issues). Beef marrow is not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and fatty acids. We use a lot of marrow bones in the preparation of our bone broths. As the bones release a lot of fat (tallow) during the long cooking process, I always regret when we skim off the marrow along with the tallow. Therefore, we take the time to soak the marrow bones in salt water for several days to whiten them and then remove the marrow from the bones. Boiled with a bit of thyme and garlic and stored in jars, it lasts forever and three days... and becomes a secret weapon in the following recipe:

Recipe: Risotto with Beef Marrow and Black Garlic

For 2 People


- 200g risotto rice (short grain, Arborio)

- 1 tbsp beef marrow

- 1 small onion, finely chopped

- 3 tbsp white wine for deglazing

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 5 cloves black garlic

- 100 ml heavy cream

- 300 ml chicken stock (possibly more)

- 1 tsp grated flavorful mountain cheese


1. **Prepare the Ingredients:**

- Finely chop the onion and black garlic.

2. **Cook the Risotto:**

- In a pan, heat the beef marrow over medium heat until it melts.

- Add the finely chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent.

- Add the risotto rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly toasted.

3. **Deglaze and Cook:**

- Deglaze with the white wine and let it simmer until the wine is almost evaporated.

- Add a ladle of chicken stock and stir continuously until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

- Repeat this process, adding one ladle of stock at a time, until the rice is cooked al dente. This should take about 18-20 minutes.

4. **Add Cream and Black Garlic:**

- Stir in the heavy cream and the finely chopped black garlic.

- Continue to cook for another few minutes until the risotto is creamy and the garlic is well incorporated.

5. **Finish and Serve:**

- Season with salt to taste.

- Stir in the grated mountain cheese.

- Serve immediately, garnished with additional grated cheese if desired.

Enjoy your risotto with beef marrow and black garlic—a perfect combination of rich flavors and textures!

Hühnerbrühe, Carnaroli Reis, schwarzer Knoblauch, Rindermark

### Instructions in English:

In a thick pot (preferable for its heat conduction), warm the beef marrow over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.

Rinse the risotto rice and add it to the onions. Stir well to coat all the grains with the fat, then deglaze with white wine.

Once the wine has evaporated, pour in half of the stock and stir. Let it simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally. As the liquid is absorbed, add more stock. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Purée the heavy cream with the black garlic cloves using a hand blender—blend very briefly to avoid turning it into butter as it thickens quickly.

After 5 minutes of cooking the risotto, add the cream-garlic mixture.

Be sure to lick the spoon—it's delicious!

Continue stirring and simmering until the rice is slightly al dente inside but soft outside. Taste and add more salt if needed. At the end, stir in the mountain cheese—I use it sparingly because the dish is already quite rich.

Let it rest briefly and serve.

The flavor is sweet and slightly tangy, with a total umami overload, and it needs a good acidic partner. A green salad, preserved lemons, and a glass of white wine are perfect. In my case, I chose rhubarb, which I briefly cooked in salted water until tender.

I wanted the risotto to be pitch black. However, when mixing in the garlic-cream paste, it became clear that the dish looked more like chocolate rice pudding rather than ebony risotto. So, I decided to add food coloring. Unfortunately, the small bottle contained dark blue rather than black color. The risotto turned a deep ultramarine blue, which dyed our tongues dark. Our daughter loved it.



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