Skradin, Croatia is famous for its 12 hour Risotto. The recipes are passed down from generation to generation. The men generally cook it, as it is done over an open flame in huge pots. We watched this process happen over a period of three days.
On Thursday night, we went to the bar a few feet away from our boat, and asked if they served food. The answer was “no”, but while sitting there, noticed that they had all started dicing onions and vegetables. It turns out that on the next day, they were going to start making risotto.
On Friday morning, as we walked by, we could see two big pots on burners, and someone was constantly stirring the one pot. This went on all day, with non-stop stirring. One pot contained the rice and the second contained the ingredients for the broth that would eventually join the rice. The broth contained veal shoulder, lots of veggies and who knows what else.
Later in the early evening, we went by to see how it was going and have a beer at the bar. They were just completing the broth and took out the large pieces of meat. They diced up the pieces and gave them to all the patrons with pickled onions. We received two plates as we consumed the melt-in-your mouth beef on the first plate in a minute. We were told the risotto would be ready to serve at 2:00pm the next day – Saturday.
We had watched this “bar” on the water front of the Marina be almost empty every time we walked by the whole week. Starting at about 2:00pm on Saturday, when we showed up, the tables became filled to capacity, and everyone knew what they had been making for the last three days. John and I got our share and savored every mouthful with a really, really good red wine that was from a vineyard just a few kilometers away. The risotto was heavenly, and gone too soon.