Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto Alla Milanese

2 shallots, medium, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)

3 T. butter, plus 2 T. more for the "mantecato" at the end

3 T. olive oil

2 cups arborio, vialone or carnaroli rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 cups (or maybe 7) of chicken stock, heated

2 packets of saffron threads (or powdered saffron - I buy these in Italy and they come in small packets of .100 grams each, but they're available at gourmet food stores or fine Italian grocery stores)

1/2 cup - 1 cup parmesan cheese

beef marrow, optional

Sauté the shallots in 3 T. butter and 3 T. oil until softened. If using beef marrow, add it here. Add the rice and stir a few minutes at low heat until you see a little translucency on the grains, then add the saffron and stir a minute or two more. Turn the heat to medium and add the white wine and stir some more. Then add small ladlefuls of the chicken stock, stirring continuously. When it looks like the rice has absorbed each ladleful, add more stock, and continue doing this for about 20 minutes or so, until the rice is cooked, but not overcooked. I prefer it to have some "tooth" to it. I also like it a little loose, so I have extra stock on hand. If you run out, use hot water (but only if you need a small amount.) When it's at the right consistency, turn off the heat and whip in 2 T. butter and the parmesan cheese and stir well before serving.