Guilherme Melo was named best newcomer by Brazil's equivalent of Michelin. Here he tells you how to knock up the perfect Brazilian Bean Risotto.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
2¼ pts chicken stock
15ml (1tbsp) corn or sunflower oil
50g unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
150g smoked sausage or Chorizo, finely sliced
150g of smoked back bacon, diced
500g Arborio rice or any other Italian risotto rice
185ml dry white wine
75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 x 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 kale or Savoy cabbage leaves
150g of pork loin steaks
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, plus extra for decoration
Place the chicken stock in a saucepan and place over a low heat, close to where the risotto will be cooked.
Heat the oil and half the butter in a heavy- bottomed pan and add the onion, garlic, smoked sausage and bacon. Cook over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent, then add the rice. Stir quickly and carefully until the grains of rice have absorbed the seasoning.
Add the wine and cook the rice, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon and removing any rice that sticks to the sides and bottom of the pan, until all of the liquid has evaporated. Keep stirring the whole time and don’t forget to free the rice from the bottom of the pan to stop it from sticking.
When there is no more liquid in the pan, add a ladleful of stock, stirring all the time as described above. Keep adding the stock in batches, stirring continuously between each addition.
After cooking the rice for 15 minutes, add the beans and chilli. Keep stirring and adding more stock, as the liquid becomes absorbed.
Meanwhile, season the pork steaks with salt and black pepper. Place under a preheated hot grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning once. Keep warm.
Start trying the rice after cooking for around 20 minutes. It will be ready when it feels soft but firm in the centre. As this point approaches, begin reducing the quantity of liquid you add to the rice, so that when the rice is ready it remains slightly moist, but without much stock.
Remove from the heat, tear up half the kale or cabbage and add it to the risotto with the rest of the butter and the grated Parmesan. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Chop the rest of the kale finely (chiffonade) and arrange it on the plates where the risotto will be served, making a nest with the risotto in the centre of the plate. Slice the pork steaks and place on top of the risotto and decorate with the extra chilli. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese.
Guilherme Melo opened Hermengada, his first restaurant, in his home city of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais and has since been named Newcomer by Guia Quatro Rodas, Brazil’s answer to Michelin. Hermengada is named after Guilherme’s grandmother, who helped develop his passion for the colours, flavours and ingredients of Brazil. Guilherme’s recipe for a Brazilian bean risotto is inspired by the traditional cuisine of mountainous Minas Gerais, typified by hearty stews and rice dishes.
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