My first (yes, really) attempt at making risotto totally from scratch, and, idiot that I am, I decided to make BROWN RICE risotto.
To make risotto, you have to stay at the stove stirring the rice almost constantly, adding hot liquid in small increments, so the rice can absorb and soften without burning. This takes a little longer than usual because the rice isn't being steamed.
Brown rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice.
My back hurts from standing, my shoulder and wrist hurt from stirring, and unless I find a "leave it alone" recipe, I am never, NEVER cooking a damn brown rice risotto ever again.
The Thanksgiving-style beef shanks came out well.
4-5 lbs. beef shanks
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
15-oz. can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
16-oz. can of whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup red wine
1 cup other iquid: beef stock, cranberry juice, orange juice, water, whatever
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Season beef shanks with salt and pepper, and you can cut the meat off into chunks if you like, but keep the bones in the cooking. Sear the meat & bones in the olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Remove the meat & bones. Add the wine and other liquid and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Add the pumpkin puree and the cranberry sauce and stir till well-mixed. Put back the meat and bones, and cover, and put in the oven for 3-4 hours. Check after about 2-3 hours to see if more liquid is needed. Serve over some form of starch.