Now you don’t have to travel all the way to California to try Chef Brooke Williamson’s famous risotto bolognese. The co-owner of Playa Provisions in Los Angeles blends two Italian classics—risotto and bolognese sauce—to create a dish that’s rich, beefy, and perfect for a cold weather date night. Chef Williamson was one of the first to test out the prototype of what would become our Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and while we usually swear by our Saucier for risotto, our Dutch Oven is perfect for browning the beef and creating a deep layer of flavor that’s further fortified by red wine and beef stock.
Blend creamy rice with a rich meat sauce for a hearty cold weather meal
Place a 4 QT Saucepan over medium heat. Pour in beef stock and bring to a low simmer. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
When the beef is browned, remove from Dutch Oven with a slotted spoon, leaving the beef fat and olive oil behind. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sweat the vegetables until soft, about 5–8 minutes, making sure that they don’t brown.
When vegetables are soft, return ground beef mixture to the pot. Add bay leaf, nutmeg, and arborio rice. Toast the rice with the ground beef and vegetable mixture for a few minutes, stirring constantly to keep from burning.
Deglaze with red wine, allowing it to reduce completely. Add tomato paste and crushed tomato and stir to combine.
Add a couple of ladles of reserved beef stock, stirring continuously until the stock has absorbed almost completely. Repeat until the beef stock has been used and the rice is toothsome, but cooked. The consistency of the risotto should resemble a porridge and can be eaten with a spoon.
Pour in cream, season with salt, and finish by stirring in the parmesan cheese. Ladle into bowls and finish with more fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh herbs if desired.