Risotto with Secreto – Valentine’s dinner!

Risotto with Secreto – Valentine’s dinner!

Valentine’s is just a few days away and what’s best to celebrate this night with a homecooked meal for your better half? Certainly for such an occasion you are looking for something special, yet easy to make, because hey, none of us here is Master Chef!

Well, this dish will do perfect! The specialty is the cut of meat, the so called “Iberian Secreto”. This is a highly refined cut, the “secret” and best part of the pork which butcheries used to secretly hide for their own consumption. Out of an average 180 kg Iberian pig, there are only 4 Secreto cuts, which together amount to around ONLY 600-800 gr. The meat is SO tender and with a light nutty flavor and due to the special natural and free ranging diet of the Iberian pigs, the fat in the meat is of the mono saturated variety, the so called “good-fats”.

I’ve purchased this cut from Mr.Meat, roast it in the oven and served it with a simple and creamy asparagus saffron risotto with caramelized onion and figs. So good! What’s best? Took me less then 1h to get it ready!

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 220g. Iberian Secreto
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (more might needed)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tbsp. herbs de Province
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried figs
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 small, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Let the Iberico Secreto sit on your kitchen counter for a few hours. You want the meat to get a little warmer

Then remove from its package

Lay on a baking tray, season with salt, pepper and herbs de province

And cook at 250 for 20 min. It is important that the oven has reached temperature, this will get the meat to have a nice crispy skin and a tender and juicy heart. While the Secreto is cooking, prepare the risotto. Wash some asparagus

chop 5 spears and set aside, while in a skillet saute’ the remaining with 1/2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Chop up the onion. Saute’ half of it in a casserole with 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil until onion is soft. Add the chopped asparagus and cook on medium-low for 2 min

Add the rice and “toast” it until its edges are translucent, season with salt and pepper. Then pour the wine and let it evaporate on high heat

Prepare the vegetable broth and dissolve the saffron in it. Then slowly add it to the rice, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup each time, adding more as the liquid gets absorbed by the rice.

Meanwhile slice in half the dried figs

and in a skillet heat up the remaining 1/2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, add the chopped onion, 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp. of sugar and the figs. Cook on medium until all liquid is absorbed and the onions and figs are lightly caramelized

By now the risotto should be ready, add a tbsp. of butter, gently stir it in, cover with a lid and let the risotto seat off heat for 3 min

Take the Iberico Secreto out of the oven

slice it

and plate your dish scooping the risotto on your serving plate, laying a few spears of asparagus, then a few slices of Iberito Secreto and topping it all off with the caramelized onions and figs and a dust of Parmesan cheese. A bit of black pepper too, if you fancy 😉

Serve it right up

I loved the contrast of the “nutty flavor of the meat, with the sweetness of the onions and figs.

Happy Valentine’s day to all of you who are in love.

-Dani

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About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.

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