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Beef Risotto Vesta-style

Introduction & method

One of the earliest ready-meals to be introduced to Britain, Vesta® Beef Risotto quickly became a firm favourite. It has been discontinued for a few years, but it's quite easy to make something like it yourself - here's how.

Beef Risotto Vesta-style Recipe

About The Rice

Some people will swear blind that you must use a specific type of rice, but actually you have a number of options - the critical thing is that it must be short-grain rice because that contains a lot of starch and can absorb lots of liquid. Arborio is usually sold as Risotto Rice in the UK, but you could also use Carnaroli or Paella rice (bomba).

Prep the Vegetables

Top and tail, peel and finely dice the onion. Finely dice the carrot and red and green peppers. Place the peas in boiling water to defrost.

Cook the Risotto

It's best if you make your own stock but if you're not doing that then dissolve 2 or 3 beef stock cubes in a litre (2 pints) of boiling water. Put the stock in a small saucepan and keep it simmering on the stove the whole time you are making the risotto.
Heat a glug of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the onions on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the carrots and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes then add the minced beef. Break it up and keep stirring it until there is no redness remaining then stir in the rice and get it all coated in the oil. Pour in enough of the stock to cover everything. Add the peas, the garlic powder and the herbs and let it cook gently until almost no liquid is left. Stir constantly while this is going on. Add another cup of stock, keep stirring until that has disappeared. Keep on adding stock and stirring until the rice is cooked. Taste the liquid near the end of cooking and add salt and black pepper if needed. If you run out of stock, use water. If the rice is cooked before you finish the stock that's okay - you don't have to use all of it. 
Serve with grated cheese - parmesan, grana padano or even cheddar.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Beef Risotto Vesta-style on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 200 grams short-grain rice
 200 grams minced beef
 1 medium onion
 1 small carrot
 60 grams red bell pepper
 60 grams green bell pepper
 60 grams frozen peas
 1 litre beef stock
 1 tsp garlic powder
 half a tsp oregano
 half a tsp thyme
  salt and black pepper to taste

Oil for sautéeing. Cheese for garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 45 minutes.