Risotto Speck e Mele

It’s difficult to explain Speck to someone that has never tasted it.

In English, the word means “fat” and in Germany it refers to lard.

In Italy, however, Speck is typical in the SudTirol (or, in Italian, Trentino Alto Adige) region – up north, in the Alps that border with Austria and Switzerland. It’s not unlike a bacon-y tasting ham, and is made by smoking and drying the hind quarters of a pig, coated with all sorts of yummy spices.

Rich. Tasty. When my nose gets a whiff of Speck, my tongue starts doing cartwheels in my mouth and my stomach rejoices. When I eat it, it’s mountains and warmth when it’s cold outside and snow and trees and fresh air and Heidi.

If you have never tried it, I suggest that your first experience be a warm chunk of wholewheat bread (ideally, rye), a slither of pickle and a thick slice of Speck.

If you have already tried Speck, then this is the recipe for you 🙂

 

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And white wine (a glass) and broth (as much as necessary)

Put a spoonful of olive oil in a non-stick pan, and heat. Add the chopped onion and simmer until it’s translucent.

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Add the Speck. Watch the fat start melting into the onion. Yum.

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When the Speck and onion are nicely cooked, add the risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli) and stir.

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Turn off your music and listen to the rice as it absorbs all the liquids – when it stops making noise, it’s time to add the white wine.

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Here it comes!

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When all the wine has been absorbed, add either your homemade bouillon cube and a ladle of hot water or a ladle of broth.

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I use my own bouillon cubes, mainly because I like knowing what I put in my food 🙂

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While the rice is cooking and you are stirring it to make sure it doesn’t stick (this isn’t paella!), you can take care of the apples. Get an inch of water to boil in a small pan and drop in the diced apples and let them cook over a low fire until just soft (not crunchy but not mush, either)

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When the rice is two or three minutes from being ready, gently stir in the cooked apple.

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And add a dollop of butter. Which is always good.

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Check for salt, add some black pepper if you like it, sprinkle with real italian Parmesan (Parmiggiano Reggiano, please!)…. et voilà!

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Your very Italian, very creamy, very good Risotto Speck e Mele is ready to be wolfed down!

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About Full Of Daisies

I am permanently in love. Things I like: purple, pasta, silk, autumn, the smell of mould, candles, cachi, having friends, water, new things, rice, eggs (all eggs!), fresh grass, olive trees, shiny things, glitter, hanging objects, windcatchers, wind, couscous, wasabi, carnivores, presents, snow, leaves, orchids, feathers, cappelletti, meat, fruit (all fruit), more del gelso (Morus alba L.), pigs, candles, christmas, polenta fritta!, separating egg whites from yokes in my hands, cartoons, dragons, the ocean, nudibranchi, cows, mercury (the metal), cosmos (the flowers), thunderstorms, Mika, turtles, acquariums, green and blue (mixed), siccamores, spring, snails, 24, porc with a sweet sauce (apple, cranberry, tomatoes jam), looking at a swimming pool upsidedown and underwater, english accent, open-minded people, driving, blue skies, checkered tablecloths, butterflies, books and cartoons in rhyme, painting eggs, the star-shadows that football players have, silver, laughing, Vivaldi, bells and chimes, white and purple, creating. Complete Happiness: Early morning. Sun, with a breeze; a pond with water lilies. A house, with a garden, full of plants. A vegetable patch, lemon, orange and mandarin trees. Cosmos everywhere. Birds in the trees; a tortoise eating the salad from the vegetable patch; a mammal (I couldn’t decide which one would make me happier) close by. No houses for as far as the eye can see. Me, a man that loves me and that I love. Friends coming over for a lunch that I have to prepare, and have all the ingredients for all ready in the kitchen.

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