When I saw James Martin make this dish on his new cookery road trip TV series set in the USA, I just had to make it! The risotto is a standard white risotto recipe but the addition of golden, roasted garlic paste right at the end and served with some juicy rare fillet steak is just sublime. Roasting the garlic takes about 40 minutes in the oven and gives it a soft, creamy flavour, but making the risotto and the steak takes 20 minutes tops.
- One large or two small whole heads of garlic
- 200g risotto rice
- 1 litre of light chicken stock
- 70g butter
- 2 finely chopped shallots
- 70ml Noilly Prat for preference or dry white wine
- Maldon sea salt and pepper
- 60g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped chives
- 2 fillet steaks
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Slice the top edge of the whole heads of garlic away so that you can just see the tips of the cloves inside. Place it on a square of foil, drizzle a little olive oil into the cloves, wrap the garlic heads tightly in the foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. When it’s ready, remove from the oven, unwrap it and allow to cool for a few minutes. Squeeze the cooked garlic cloves onto a small clean plate – it’s as satisfying as popping bubble wrap – and mash it into a paste with a fork. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep the risotto ingredients (chop the shallots, grate the cheese) and take the steak out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before cooking.
- To make the risotto, melt half the butter in a pan and lightly colour the shallots. Add the rice, stir and coat in the butter. Add the Noilly Prat or wine, ladle over enough hot stock to cover. Stir and leave it to cook for a few minutes. Keep adding the stock and stir the risotto until the rice goes creamy and is slightly al dente. This should take about 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the Parmesan, all of the garlic paste. Add a little more stock if it looks stodgy and adjust for seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chives last.
- To cook the steak, heat a frying pan until it is smoking hot. Lightly brush the steak pieces with a little oil and season with a little sea salt. Add the steak to the pan and cook each side for 3 or 4 minutes. The thinner the steak, the less time it will take to cook – you’re aiming for a golden crust on the outside and just pink on the inside. When you’re happy with how well cooked they are, add a knob of butter to the pan and quickly baste or ‘nap’ the steak. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- To serve, spoon some of the risotto onto a warm plate and add the steak slices. Spoon over the butter and meat juices from the pan over the steak slices. Enjoy!
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