Awesome Scottish Risotto and Seared Beef Tenderloin

We had Pat’s parents over for his mom’s birthday and decided we should do a Scottish-themed dinner! This recipe originally calls for Venison but we weren’t feeling that adventurous (well I wasn’t anyways…I have a thing with wild meat).  The Scottish risotto takes a while to cook, but we found it surprisingly lighter than regular risotto and it was worth the wait.

Scottish Risotto*

3 large leeks
a few knobs of butter
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper
2 3/4 cups pearl barley
4 cups organic chicken stock
3 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
3 oz good quality Cheddar cheese, grated
a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Trim, wash and finely slick the leeks. Heat a large deep pan (we use our Le Creuset Round french oven) on medium heat, add 2 knobs of butter, some olive oil and the thyme leaves. Add the leeks to the pan and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened.

Stir in the pearl barley and half the chicken stock, put the lid on and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, add a splash of stock at a time, stir it in and allow to absorb and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding more.  Continue this for 30 to 40 minutes or until the barley is cooked to your desire. (I used extra stock than the recipe called for as it was needed)

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and add a knob of butter, the cheese and chopped parsley. Pop the lid back on and allow the ingredients to melt together.

Seared Beef Tenderloin

7 Juniper  berries
red wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, whole piece
2 sprigs rosemary , leaves picked
Salt and pepper

In a mortar and pestle add the juniper berries, rosemary, pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Bash this until it turns into a paste (have patience with this!) Add a bit of olive oil and the vinegar, mix up and rub all over your beef tenderloin.

When the risotto is 20 minutes from completion, turn a large frying pan onto high heat with some olive oil. Add the beef and cook for approximately 17-20 minutes, turning the beef every 2 minute. Do not over cook this beef – you want to cook this medium rare! Place on a plate and rub with a bit of butter and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the beef and serve beside or on top of your risotto! This meal goes really well with baked carrots, and a fresh arugula salad.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we all did!


*Original Recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain Cookbook


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