Yellow Bean, Vodka and Smoked Haddock Risotto
The thing about risottos is that you can never have enough combinations, and just when you think you’ve done them all you come up with a new one that hits the spot. The use of vodka instead of wine leaves you with a fragrant freshness when the risotto is cooked, which marries fantastically well with smoky flakes of haddock and the al dente crunch of fine yellow beans. As there is fish in this risotto you don’t want to include any Parmesan, so bear this in mind. If you’re a risotto fan you’ve got to give this a try.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, rich, salty, savory, smoky
- 1 x Basic Risotto recipe (see below), minus the Parmesan
- 4 shots of vodka (in place of the wine in the Basic Risotto recipe)
- 700g/1 1/2 lb smoked haddock, undyed
- 565ml/1 pint milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 255g/9oz yellow beans, stalks removed, finely sliced
- 1 handful of yellow celery leaves, from the heart
- Approx. 1.1 litres/2 pints stock (chicken, fish or vegetable as appropriate)
- 1 knob of butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- ½ head of celery, finely chopped
- 400g/14oz risotto rice
- 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 70g/2 ½ oz butter
- 115g/4oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Start your Basic Risotto, adding the vodka at Stage 2 instead of the wine. Then lightly poach your haddock in the milk and stock from the basic recipe with a couple of bay leaves, covered with a lid. Simmer for around 5 minutes and remove from the heat. At Stage 3 of the basic recipe, I like to add the poaching liquor to the rice and then I carry on as normal through the recipe. At the end of Stage 3 flake in your smoked haddock, add the beans and carry on as normal through to the end of the recipe. Don’t serve with any Parmesan sprinkled over — serve sprinkled with the celery leaves. Add a dash of vodka and a squeeze of lemon to lift the flavours. Lovely.
For the Basic Risotto:
Stage 1: Heat the stock. In a separate pan heat the olive oil and butter, add the onions, garlic and celery, and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.
Stage 2: The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.
Stage 3: Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice — is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.
Stage 4: Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.
2002 Jamie Oliver