Risotto with Mushrooms

There’s something magical about risotto. It’s the most satisfying dish to eat that won’t break the bank. Well, most of the time. This little number creates a rich, dense flavour. It includes porcini, ceps and most expensively of all, truffle oil. Still, it’s not that expensive. It really delivers on taste and is probably one my favourite things to eat in the World. Now my version ISN’T vegetarian, but by simply changing the stock to vegetable, which I have done many times for vegie friends it’s a perfect filling dish for anyone… except vegans, in which case just give them an apple.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaped cup mixed mushrooms (chopped) (use a mix of chestnut, ceps, girolle etc).
1 small clove garlic (finely chopped)
splash dry white wine
3/4 cup arborio rice
700ml beef stock (or vegetable) (probably more than you’ll need)
salt & pepper
4 tablespoons parmesan (grated)
1 tablespoon butter
truffle oil (optional)
3-4 extra mushrooms (optional)

Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan then reduce the heat to very low to keep hot on the back hob.

Soak the dried porcini for 10 minutes in 1 cup warm water. Squeeze the ceps, drain the water through a sieve into the stock (just incase there’s any grit in the porcini water). Chop and set aside the porcini.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together in a pan until bubbling. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry gently for 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 3-4 minutes then add a good splash of white wine. Let it sizzle and reduce then add a ladleful of stock. Stir constantly until the liquid is reduced by half then add another ladle of stock. Repeat this process for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked but slightly al denté. The consistency should be quite creamy and not stiff. A tip is to make it slighly more ‘soupy’ than you’d like as the rice will continue to absorb the liquid. This will avoid you being able to slice it later! Season with salt & pepper then add 1 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Stir the risotto until light and creamy. Drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of truffle oil (if using) and stir well just before serving.

You can serve this as is, or you can fry a few extra slices of mushroom in butter, salt & pepper and use as a garnish. Whatever you do sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over just before you eat.

P.S. Remember to turn off the heat to the stock… I ALWAYS forget!!!

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