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Ideas for a meaty main to pair with smoked cheese risotto?

I'm cooking a dinner for 4 adults this weekend, and will be making a saucy barley risotto with smoked cheddar, beans, and spinach. It's hearty, so normally I'd just serve that as the main, but this time I'm looking for a meat dish to go with it because we'll all be starving after an active day.

Ideally this is something that will prep & cook relatively quickly,1 hr tops, so big roasts, long braises, etc. are out. I'll be in a kitchen in a rented cottage, and while it is "equipped", I don't know that they'll have anything beyond the basics, so I can't count on a cast iron pan, slow cooker, pressure cooker, etc. being available.

For presentation reasons, I'm leaning toward the meat being something that goes aside / on top of the risotto, rather than being mixed in. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

Any recipe ideas? Thank you in advance!

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  1. That sounds delicious - I'd go with some sort of sausage on top. A nice grilled garlicky link of something would be terrific.

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      i was also thinking pork. you could rub pork chops with garlic and rosemary in the morning and then pan-fry or oven bake the chops for dinner.

    2. Maybe some meat or chicken bits marinated and skewared, the broiled or grilled.

      1. +3 on the pork idea. Smoked sausages, kielbasa, something with a little heft & spice to go with the strong flavors of the risotto.

        Also what about a pork tenderloin? Pan roasted and glazed with some mustard and balsamic to give it some color and flavor on the outside. Simple and tasty.

        1. Some people might think that sausage would diminish a meal like that, but I think it would complement it very nicely. Being that you're in a cottage, you might have access to venison sausage, boar sausage, or otherwise.

          1. I feel like braised short ribs would be a nice accompaniment. Sort of a take on The Grilled Cheese Truck's short rib mac and cheese grilled cheese. HEAVY but amazing!