Risotto alla Milanese Recipe

Risotto alla Milanese


  • 150g Carnaroli rice (or substitute with Arborio)
  • 1 litre beef or veal stock
  • 3 large pinches of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp of boiling water for 20 minutes
  • a large handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 200ml vermouth
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • half a clove of garlic, grated
  • 100g butter
  • salt

How to make Risotto alla Milanese

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the stock and keep it at a simmer.
  2. Melt 60g of the butter in a small splash of good olive oil in another large saucepan. Add in the onion and garlic, cook until translucent and fragrant over moderate heat, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice in at this point, and stir to make sure each grain is coated in the buttery mixture.
  4. Turn the heat up to high, and add in the vermouth and stir to make sure each grain is coated in the butter-vermouth mixture. The grains should all become translucent-looking (about 3-5 minutes). Season lightly with salt (the amount you use should depend on how salty your stock is). Let it cook until the vermouth has completely evaporated.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the first ladlefull of stock. Stir vigorously to release the starch, and keep stirring until the stock has been fully absorbed. Add in the saffron with the water it has been soaking in. Stir until fully absorbed, before adding the next ladlefull of stock.
  6. Continue adding the stock, one ladlefull at a time, ensuring that each ladle has been fully absorbed before the next one is added.
  7. Towards the end of the cooking time, check to see that the rice is almost cooked: it should give tenderly, but not softly, to the bite. At this stage, beat in half the parmesan cheese and the remaining 40g of butter, then clamp the lid on and leave it to rest for 3 minutes.
  8. Serve on a plate, sprinkled with extra parmesan cheese.

Note: Risotto alla Milanese should either be taken on its own, or with Osso Bucco, according to strict Italian culinary rules. :p

  • sideshowjo
    sideshowjo says

    I love the presentation! Is that lamb shank?

  • sideshowjo
    sideshowjo says

    oops, sorry, I just noticed. Osso Bucco. Nice one!

  • rachel
    rachel says

    Thanks! And yup that's veal shank. It was actually a bit big but it was a last minute dinner and I couldn't find the smaller ones. Ah well.

  • mellon85
    mellon85 says

    Hey rachel, nice post, but, in the originary recipe there are some differences. There is no garlic and less then half the butter (30g for 2 people), half litre of stock, only white wines are used and the better it is the best the dish will be (half a glass) The butter is used like this: 10g for the onion, 10g for the rice, and 10g at your point 7.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    @mellon85: is that right? this was quite closely based on a couple of recipes i'd researched, one of them being from The Silver Spoon which is purportedly the definitive guide to traditional Italian cuisine. But I suppose this just proves that no book is foolproof.

  • mellon85
    mellon85 says

    @rachel: well, right or wrong is hard to say ^^ This is the way my granny told me to do, and i live quiet near milan. Granny cockbooks are always the best :-) Taste it and see

  • rachel
    rachel says

    I would, but unfortunately I recently started working in a restaurant kitchen and I rarely have time to cook anymore at home, let along time consuming dishes like osso bucco (with my risotto).

  • elagon82
    elagon82 says

    Sorry, but... What is this recipe? I live in Milan and i never saw a "Risotto alla Milanese" with a piece of "Osso Buco" inside. Please don't screw up italian recipes like this. Just remove the meat and 3/4 of the butter :)

  • rachel
    rachel says

    @elagon82: please see the above email threads for my reply to the differences in recipes. The veal shank wasn't actually part of the risotto dish, if you had actually read the recipe you'd see that it was just another dish that I served WITH the risotto. From what I understand - which, obviously, could be flawed - there are many variations on a single recipe depending not just on which region in Italy you come from, but which neighbourhood and down to who your grandmother is. At the end of the day, like mellon85 said, it's down to a matter of taste and how you prefer it.

  • iconsam
    iconsam says

    @elagon: Troll.

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