Boon Gueuze Arancini with Arla Havgus

This is something new - at least on these parts. Back when I was writing in danish, I did occasionally do some food recipes involving beer. This one started out as a Gueuze risotto, but quickly turned into a full on Arancini attack. After my former work place shut down, I've been missing my regular doses of cheese filled arancini, but no more!

 The wanted future of every risotto ever. Why? Because you can add more cheese!

The wanted future of every risotto ever. Why? Because you can add more cheese!

The main inspiration here comes from Jamie Olivers risotto, yet I've tweaked it so far that no one would notice. It's been simplified to my liking and I've added a bunch of cheese from local vendor Arla Unika. They're as geeky about cheese as I am about beer, and they were quick to guide me with cheese for my risotto and giving me tasters. Havgus, a medium-hard cheese, is the base in the recipe, but with the big brother Havgus XL, who's a bit stronger in the flavors, it all came full circle and adds an extra layer of taste to an already rich dish.

Havgus is a bit nutty, salty and fruity, some would even call it funky, which goes hand it hand with the beer chosen - Boon's Oude Geuze, an affordable alternative to a complex lambic blend, that'll satisfy even the hardcore lover of sours.

Ingredients for the risotto

2 tbs oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

400 gram Arborio rice

150 ml Geuze

1 liter chicken broth

25 gram butter

100 gram cheese (80% Havgus + 20% Havgus XL)

+ more cheese for filling! About another 100 gram or however much you like in there.

+ Salt, pepper and thyme

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of bread flour

How to make it

1) Heat up the oil in a big pot and fry the onions, garlic and celery for about five minutes. Don't let them take any color.

2) Add the rice, turn the heat down to above medium and fry them for about a minute while stirring. Stirring is important - keep stirring.

3) Add the Geuze and stir until the it's absorbed into the rice.

4) Turn the heat down to about medium and add the broth little by little. Add about 10% and keep stirring until it's absorbed. Save the last 10%. It'll take about 30 minutes, but try biting the rice - if they still have a little bite, they're about done.

5) Turn the heat to medium low and add butter and cheese. Time for the last stirring session (is your arm hurting by now?). It needs to be creamy and wet. If it's too stiff add some more broth.

Now you have a risotto, and you could garnish that with salt, pepper, thyme and some freshly shredded cheese and serve it, or...

6) Let the risotto cool down in the fridge

7) Take a large spoon of cooled down risotto. Shape it into a round circle and put a cube of cheese in the middle. Fold the sides of risotto around the cheese and shape it into a ball. Repeat until you're out of risotto.

8) Whisk the eggs together in a shallow plate and put the bread flour in another shallow plate. Dip the risotto balls in first the egg and then the flour.

9) Deep fry in oil over medium heat. The butter on the inside should be melted, while the outside is crispy. Serve as a starter, with a dip of choice.