They say artichokes are brutal when it comes to pairing with wine.
But as I discovered with this risotto last night, that if you braise the artichokes in bacon grease (along with the onion, mushrooms, and garlic) syrah is an awesome match.
I wanted to make something special for my husband to lure him into participating with me for this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday’s North vs South challenge, with Vino V’s 2005 White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara California syrah from the Northern hemisphere going up against a hazyblur Adelaide Plains 2003.
I found a lovely rack of already frenched lamb which he dolled up with a nice rub: kosher salt, black pepper, fresh rosemary and a few twists of Italian seasonings with sea salt.
For a side dish, I decided to make the artichoke risotto I’d been promising him. I had no official recipe but this is what I came up with and it tasted great! Here’s the recipe: In a large preheated iron skillet,
Add 2 T olive oil or 1 T olive oil and 1 T bacon grease and sauté ½- 1 chopped onion until adequately carmelized (at least 5 minutes).
Add a dozen sliced brown mushrooms or ½ dozen brown and 1 sliced portabella, 2 T chopped garlic and 2 T chopped basil, 2 C quartered artichokes, a few twists of sea salt and a pepper blend, and saute. Sauté for 5 minutes. If it seems dry, you can add a little more oil or bacon grease.
Add 1 T oil or bacon grease, then 1 C Arborio rice and saute for 1-2 minutes, making sure all grains are lightly coated with oil.
Slowly add 1 C hot liquid: water with a little bacon grease, or use hot chicken or vegetable broth. When the moisture is absorbed, slowly add another 2 more cups of hot liquid. You can also use ½ cup white wine.
Give a taste: if the rice is tender it’s done, and you can add parmesan cheese to taste-about ½ cup should do.
Next Up: the wine showdown!