Recipe: Guinness Risotto with Shrimp and Watercress

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This risotto pairs full-bodied stout with spicy watercress and earthy mushrooms. Paired with Chocolate Stout Cake, it makes the perfect St. Patrick's Day meal.

Serves 4

    • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • pinch of chili flakes
    • 1 cup Guinness Extra Stout (or regular Guinness)
    • 4 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 red onion chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
    • 1 cup sliced brown mushrooms
    • ¾ cup chopped fresh watercress
    • cracked black pepper to taste
    • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
    • Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Prepare the shrimp:
Heat the olive oil over medium-heat, and briefly sauté the garlic and chili flakes. Add the shrimp and cook for one to two minutes, until they begin to turn pink. Add half a cup of the Guinness, and continue to cook for another two minutes until done. Drain, reserving the cooking juices.

Heat the stock:
While you prepare the shrimp and vegetables, put the stock in a pot and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and keep warm.

Prepare the risotto:
Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until they've begun to soften and get translucent. Reduce heat to medium and add the rice and mushrooms. Cook one to two more minutes, or until the rice begins to look translucent as well. Slowly pour in the shrimp's cooking liquid, and the additional half cup of Guinness and cook, stirring until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. (Pour the rest of the beer into a pint glass and enjoy, unless you're making the stout cake too!)

Begin to add the warm stock, a ladle-full at a time, stirring almost constantly while allowing the rice to absorb each addition. You'll be able to tell when you need more liquid when the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring and adding stock until the rice is plump and al dente to soft, depending on your preference. This will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

St in the cooked shrimp, watercress, pepper, lemon juice and rind, and cook for a minute more. Stirring in butter at this point will add even more creaminess to the finished dish. Remove from heat and serve, garnishing each plate with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

To read Jennifer Ward Barber's post about how she came up with this risotto for St. Patrick's Day, click here.

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Jennifer Ward Barber is an intern at TheAtlantic.com, where she helps produce the Atlantic Food Channel. Follow her on Twitter, or visit her site, Fresh Cracked Pepper, where she writes about food, life, and triathlon. More

Originally from Canada, Jennifer moved to the U.S. to study journalism at Syracuse University. She graduated with her MA from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in June of 2009.
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