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Feb 17, 2010 04:42 PM

Make-ahead risotto

My mom is having a dinner party and wants to serve risotto with her osso bucco but doesn't want to have to babysit it on the stove away from her guests (I am out of town, otherwise I would help). Has anyone made risotto ahead of time and held it for service? Ideally, she wants to do this about four hours before serving.

Can she par-cook it and add stock before serving?

Please help!

If that is a no, what other ideas do you have for the veal shank?

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  1. We pre-cook it at the place I work at..just cook it until nearly done but still a tad undercooked. We spread it out on a sheet pan and refrigerate then finish it to order but basically add stock & cream to it in a skillet to finish it off.

    1. I haven't made it ahead, but I did learn a trick for making it without babysitting for 30 min on the stove:
      Preheat oven to 350F.
      Follow the recipe up until it's time to add the stock.
      Add the stock all at once, and bring it up to a boil (so it's okay if the stock starts at room temp).
      Slap a lid on the pot and transfer to the oven.
      After 15 min, pull it out and stir. Cover and return to oven.
      After another 15 min (so 30 min total), pull it out. Go back to the recipe where you left off - the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

      It's not a time-saver, but it is much easier to ignore the risotto as it bakes. The texture is a little less creamy, so I usually add a little extra cheese.

      1. i hate doing it the way my friend does but he just goes ahead and finishes the risotto and stuffs into individual sous vide bags - what a cheater! all the same, if it floats your boat, there's no harm in it.

        1. I don't know if you mom would be interested, but she can make an orzotto (a risotto with orzo) like this one from NY's Salumeria Rosi. It's a nice twist on regular risotto. You can prepare it mostly ahead of time(the day before) - cook 3/4 of the way, hold in the fridge, and rewarm with a little broth and water before serving.
          Orzotto With Zucchini & Pesto

          She can also try the Friulian version of orzotto, which is actually made with barley prepared risotto-style. Although I've never tried it, this Mushroom Orzotto from Food & Wine sounds as though it would pair nicely with osso bucco, particularly in winter.
 The dish can be made ahead of time and rewarmed with a little water.
          Mushroom Orzotto

          1. Does she have a pressure cooker? It takes less than 10 min and comes out perfectly. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would work in a pressure cooker, but somehow it does.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tmso

              How do you make risotto in a pressure cooker? I never make it for guests because of I don't want to have to be tied that long to the stove. If I could make it ahead, or make it quickly immediately before dinner, that would be great. Thanks.

              1. re: masha

                After seeing pressure cooker instructions in La Cucina Italiana, I thought I'd try it, and was pleasantly surprised. I paraphrased the instructions here: