As a foodie, I know that there are certain dishes which are worth the fussing. Risotto is certainly one of them. Made very slowly with lots of attention, it is one of my favorite dishes to cook and serve. Always impressive, it seems to reflect the labor of love that went into making it special. When I heard that you could make risotto in the Instant Pot, I was skeptical to say the least.
Being so new to the Instant Pot world, I am specifically looking for recipes that will teach me about the nuances of pressure cooking technique so that I can convert my favorite recipes into pressure cooking recipes. Some recipes are more easily adapted than others. Some dishes can be adapted but do loose a little something. For weekday meals, I am ok with that. Risotto is one of those recipes. This is not what I would call “company risotto” but “Busy Mom Weeknight Risotto.” Understanding that, I am impressed with how this worked out.
I studied several recipes online to get inspiration on how I could convert my favorite Mark Bittman: How To Cook Everything risotto milanese recipe to the Instant Pot. Like it suggests in his cookbook, I have added some of my favorite finishing touches. My instructions are based on my version of the Instant Pot.
(Just in case you are wondering, that is Pistachio Pesto Butter on the steak. It is our variation of Aaron McCargo’s recipe.)
How To Cook Everything Inspired Instant Pot Risotto
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Generous Pinch of salt
2 shallots, chopped finely (you can substitute a medium onion)
2 cups Italian Arborio rice (I use Trader Joe’s)
Pinch of saffron (adjust this to taste)
1/2 cup dry Italian white wine
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of peas
3 T chopped fresh basil
More parmesan cheese as garnish
- Mise En Place (put everything in place): Risotto on the stove and in the Instant Pot requires a well prepared space. Don’t start cooking until you have everything prepped.
- Press “Saute” on your Instant Pot. Use the Adjust button to set it to “medium” if necessary.
- Add 4 tablespoons of the butter to the warming pot and let it melt.
- Add the shallots and sprinkle the salt. When the butter is mostly melted, add your shallots and the salt and cook until translucent (about 3 minutes).
- Add the rice. When the onions are glistening, add the rice and stir it around for about 2-3 minutes until beautifully coated. (In this step we are toasting or waking up the rice so that it can correctly absorb the cooking liquid. We want it coated but crunchy.)
- Add the saffron and the wine to the pot. Stir to incorporate and then let it cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice has absorbed a fair amount of the wine.
- Press cancel on the Instant Pot.
- Add the stock. Pour all of the stock into the pot, close and secure the lid. Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 6 minutes. (If your Instant Pot doesn’t default to HIGH pressure, adjust it to high.) It will likely take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure. Then it will cook for 6 minutes.
- Quick Release. When your Instant Pot beeps that it is done cooking, turn the release valve to VENT (“Quick Release”). Remember, steam will come pouring out of the valve, so keep your hands clear. It will take 3-5 minutes to vent the steam and pressure. When it is done, open the lid.
- Finish the Risotto. When you remove your lid, there is likely to be a puddle of cooking liquid on top of your rice. Stir that in and then assess whether or not it is too moist or too dry for your taste. If it is too moist, set your Instant Pot to SAUTE for another minute or two, stirring the whole time. If it is too dry, stir in another ¼ c of chicken stock or water, repeating until you get the texture you desire. Keep in mind that adding the finishing butter and cheese will also help it set up, so don’t over cook. Press CANCEL on the Instant Pot.
- Add the finishes. When the rice is at the texture you desire, stir in your finishing ingredients. In this recipe that means stirring in the butter, cheese, peas, and basil.
- Plate your risotto. Garnish with parmesan if desired.