Frugal Foodie Mama: Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon {GYCO ~ Beer}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon {GYCO ~ Beer}

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I have some redeeming to do for this month's Get Your Chef On Challenge from Julie at White Lights on Wednesdays and Jen from Four Marrs and One Venus.  I totally skipped out on January's challenge after winning the GYCO title in November for my Cranberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.  January's ingredient was pears.  
Pears.  I have no idea why, but my mind just completely blanked.  Maybe it was too much champagne on New Year's?  ;) But I just couldn't come up with a pear recipe I would be proud to enter for the life of me.

Then Julie announced March's ingredient... BEER.  
Beer I can do.
Beer could be my redeemer, maybe even my chance to reclaim the GYCO title? 

My inspiration for my Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon came from our favorite appetizer at our favorite restaurant to eat at when we are in the Pittsburgh area- the Beer Belly fries smothered in Beer Cheese & Peppered Bacon from Bocktown Beer and Grill.
Yeah, I am sitting here drooling now daydreaming about those fries, and their Three Rivers Burgher, and that vast & amazing selection of craft beers...
*sigh*

What you will need:
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup arborio rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup of beer + a splash (I would suggest a pale ale.  I used Saranac Pale Ale in my risotto.)
4-5 slices of bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese + 1 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper

Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan.  Over medium-low heat, start to slowly heat the broth to a low simmer.

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven.  Once the butter is melted, add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender.

Add the cup of arborio rice to the onions.  Saute for another 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the rice.

Pour in your cup of beer.  Cook and stir the rice/beer mixture over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed.  

Using a ladle, scoop in one ladle full of the chicken broth.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until all the liquid is once again absorbed.  
Continue doing this- ladling in the broth, stirring until absorbed until you have used all the chicken broth.  This entire process should take between 30-35 minutes.
Risotto is a labor of love, folks.  But a labor that is well, well worth it. ;)

In between ladling in chicken broth, cook your bacon strips.  Personally, I am a huge fan of baking bacon.  It is easy.  You don't get splattered with bacon grease trying to flip frying pork.  And your entire house doesn't smell like a grease pit all day.  
Simply line a RIMMED baking sheet with foil, lay out your bacon strips, & place in a cold oven.  Then heat the oven to 425 degrees.  In about 20-25 minutes, you should have crispy perfect bacon.  Easy, peasy!
Again I will stress that you use a rimmed baking sheet & be VERY careful pulling the baking sheet out of the oven so you do not spill any of the grease that has rendered out of the bacon onto the hot oven.  I learned this one the hard way once.   Not a good scene- had to break out the fire extinguisher, the fire department came... 
It was a good time. 

Once your risotto has absorbed all the liquid, remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and butter.  I also splashed in a little more beer at this point as a finishing touch.  This is totally optional, but I highly suggest it. :)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Chop your bacon now that it has cooled.  Dish out your risotto and top with a little shredded cheddar cheese and chopped, crispy bacon.  And there you have it- Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon!

Beer Cheese Risotto with Bacon

by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of beer + a splash (I would suggest a pale ale. I used Saranac Pale Ale in my risotto.)
  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese + 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper
Instructions
Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan. Over medium-low heat, start to slowly heat the broth to a low simmer.

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender.
Add the cup of arborio rice to the onions. Saute for another 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the rice.

Pour in your cup of beer. Cook and stir the rice/beer mixture over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed.

Using a ladle, scoop in one ladle full of the chicken broth. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until all the liquid is once again absorbed.
Continue doing this- ladling in the broth, stirring until absorbed until you have used all the chicken broth. This entire process should take between 30-35 minutes.

Line a RIMMED baking sheet with foil, lay out your bacon strips, & place in a cold oven. Then heat the oven to 425 degrees. In about 20-25 minutes, you should have crispy perfect bacon.

Once your risotto has absorbed all the liquid, remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and butter. I also splashed in a little more beer at this point as a finishing touch.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chop your bacon now that it has cooled. Dish out your risotto and top with a little shredded cheddar cheese and chopped, crispy bacon.
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Make sure you stop by the other blogs competing in the Get Your Chef On ~Beer~ Challenge and check out their beer inspired recipes...



12 comments :

  1. Oh. My. lord. I need this now!! Geez, my head is spinning - risotto became a favorite last fall, I'm totally trying yours.

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  2. This is a great recipe because I always have the ingredients on hand:) I love all the different types of beer that are being used for this challenge. I will definitely be giving this recipe a try! Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines Chili Dogs

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  3. Cooking bacon in the oven is my new favorite trick! I spilled grease all over my oven the first time, too.

    I'm DEFINITELY going to have to try this! Back in my waitressing days we would serve a beer cheese soup that I loved... which is funny because I don't really like beer.

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  4. Well since risotto is one of my very favorite dishes I will be making your recipe next time risotto is on my menu - oooh, maybe for Easter!. I could just taste how yummy the cheese and bacon will be with the risotto.

    Thanks so much for sharing another yummy beer recipe,
    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

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  5. This looks absolutely incredible. I have GOT TO make it. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Visiting from GYCO
    One thing better than cheesy, creamy risotto. Cheesy, creamy risotto w/ beer!

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  7. Pass me a fork! This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. NOM NOM NOM. Holy wow! This looks amazing, Carrie! Cheese? check. Beer? check. Arborio rice? check. Just need to get some bacon and I can make this tasty meal!

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  9. Hi! Followed you over from My Turn for Us blog hop.Wow does this look great. Pinned and now following via GFC.

    Jackie
    www.thenonmarthamomma.com

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  10. Stop in the name of Beer Cheese Risotto! YUM girl! So happy you came to play this round- we missed you! :)

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  11. Seriously?! Beer, cheese and bacon! This looks amazing! Pinning this and making this for my family ASAP! :) YUM!

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  12. This recipe is being featured as a favorite on Sweet & Savoury Sunday tomorrow :)

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