Saffron and Fall Squash Risotto Paired with Back Forty Beer Harvest Ale
Just in time for fall, Back Forty Beer Company’s Harvest Ale, the latest in the Alabama brewer’s seasonal offerings, will be hitting local taps and shelves. This English-Style IPA is brewed with traditional English hops for a more pronounced malt profile. Like the leaves of fall, this Harvest Ale is amber and earthy and perfect for the changing seasons. From the fruity notes of spring, to the roasted aromas of winter, these beers are inspired by the Alabama seasons and made to be paired with food. The Harvest Ale is ideal for pairing with your favorite fall treats, whether it be something sweet or more savory.
“With its crisp and earthy flavor, the Harvest Ale perfect for enjoying everything fall has to offer,” says Jason Wilson, founder and president of Back Forty Beer. “We pride ourselves on creating beer that brings people together through the rich experience of cooking with or drinking a locally brewed craft beer.”
Wilson recommends pairing a bottle or chilled glass of Harvest Ale with Chef Leonardo Maurelli III of Central Restaurant in Montgomery’s squash risotto. The caramel malts of the beer will bring out the sweetness of the squash and take what is already a delicious dish to a new level.
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
1/2 of an onion
1 ear garlic, minced
2 tbs. butter
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cubed acorn squash
2 cups of butternut squash puree
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
Pre-blanch squash and puree butternut squash with 1 cup of chicken stock. Dice acorn squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Place wine and saffron in a small pot over low heat and begin to bloom saffron. Melt butter and 2 oz. of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onions, garlic and cook until translucent. Add rice. Continue cooking and stirring until the rice begins to brown.
Pour saffron-infused wine over rice, stir and cook until evaporated. Add enough chicken stock to cover rice, stir and cook until liquid is reduced. Repeat this process two more times and add diced acorn squash and butternut squash puree. Hit the risotto one more time with chicken stock, reduce completely. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and fold in fresh minced herbs. Sprinkle liberally with Parmigiano Reggiano.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Leonardo Maurelli III of Central Restaurant in Montgomery, Alabama.