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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 62 - Risotto of saffron bone marrow and prawns

MasterChef Australia Recipe

Risotto of saffron, bone marrow and prawns

5 prawns, roughly chopped  
500g bone marrow  
1/4 brown onion, finely chopped    
1 garlic clove, finely chopped    
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil    
40g butter
1g saffron threads      
100g carnaroli rice  
600ml hot chicken stock
10g Parmesan, finely grated   
flowers, dill sprigs, and chive batons,
to garnish
Licorice powder
25g brown sugar    
2 tsp almond meal   
25g dehydrated black olives, finely chopped    
1 star anise
Orange oil 
2 oranges, zest finely grated  
250ml extra virgin olive oil  

Saffron liquor
4g saffron threads, lightly chopped      
prawn reduction
2 tbs olive oil
180g prawn shells   
1 carrot, chopped   
1 brown onion, chopped  
1 garlic clove, chopped   
1 tomato, roughly chopped 
1 tbs tomato paste
100ml white wine

1. Preheat oven to 80C.

2. Place the prawns in-between two sheets of baking sheet and pound them into a thin, even sheet. Place in the freezer to set.

3. For the licorice powder, mix the sugar and almond meal in a bowl. Spread onto a baking tray and dry in the oven for 40 minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any lumps, then combine in a bowl with the olives. Pound the star anise in a mortar and pestle until finely ground, then strain through a sieve. Combine the olive mixture with the ground star anise.

4. For the orange oil, combine the zest and oil in a small saucepan. Infuse the oil at 60C for 40 minutes. Strain and leave to cool.

5. For the saffron liquor, lightly toast the saffron in a small, dry saucepan, then add 190ml water. Increase the heat and cook until reduced by two thirds.      

6. For the prawn reduction, heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Caramelise the prawn shells, then add the onion, carrot and garlic, and cook until caramelised. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the wine, deglaze the pan, then add 500ml water and cook until reduced and thickened. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, then stir through 1 teaspoon of orange oil. Set aside.

7. Push the bone marrow out of the bone and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water and strain. Allow to cool, then slice into 5mm discs.

8. To make the risotto, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and half of the butter until softened and translucent. Add the saffron threads, cook for 1 minute before adding the rice. Cook for a further 2 minutes, coating all of the grains in the oil. Season with sea salt and add some of the saffron liquor to taste and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquor. Add stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and allowing each to absorb before adding the next, until rice is cooked but still al dente. Remove from the heat, add remaining butter and parmesan, stirring to combine. Carefully fold through the bone marrow. Season to taste with sea salt, adding a little more saffron liquor if necessary.

9. To serve, trim the prawn sheet to size, brush with orange oil and season with salt. Place the prawn sheet onto a plate, with a spoonful of risotto to one side. Garnish with flowers, herbs, licorice powder and prawn reduction.