19th November 2020
Wild mushroom risotto
This dish is very versatile. any fresh mushrooms will do (in fact, it will be lovely made with just dried porcini alone). If you don’t have stock, soak the porcini in the same amount of hot water instead. You can use dry sherry or vermouth rather than wine. And for a vegan version, replace the butter with olive oil and the cheese with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
½ onion or 2 shallots
200g fresh mixed mushrooms
1.1 litres good chicken or vegetable stock
25g butter, plus 2 tbsp extra to finish
200g risotto rice
120ml white wine
1 garlic clove
A couple of parsley sprigs, to finish
1. Peel and finely chop the onion or shallots, grate the parmesan and trim and gently brush any dirt off the fresh mushrooms with a damp cloth. If you have large mushrooms, cut them into bite-sized pieces.
2. Bring the stock to a simmer, Taste the stock: you’ll be reducing it further, so it shouldn’t be too salty to begin with – dilute with a little more water, if necessary, then leave on a low heat while you get on with the risotto.
3. Melt the butter in a wide saucepan over a medium-low heat, and gently fry mushrooms and garlic till they just start to brown, remove from pan and keep for later. In the same pan add the chopped shallots and cook until soft – don’t let it colour. Tip in the rice and cook, stirring, until most of the grains are coated and translucent – this will take a few minutes.
4. Pour in the wine; it should sizzle as it hits the pan. Cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, then start adding the stock one ladleful at a time, continuing to stir as you do so, and not adding the next ladle of stock until the pan is almost dry.
5. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is done to your liking – this should take another eight to 12 minutes, though exactly how long will depend on your tastes. In theory, the rice should still be firm, but not chalky in the middle.
6. Once you’re happy with the texture of the rice, correct the consistency of the mixture; risotto shouldn’t sit on the plate like a solid lump, but flow across it like a wave, so add a little more stock, if need be, stirring until the rice is loose and creamy. Stir in most of the grated parmesan, cooked mushrooms and a tablespoon of the extra butter, then cover the pan and leave to sit off the heat for five minutes.
7. Give the risotto a good stir and season to taste (it probably won’t need any more salt, because the parmesan has a fair bit already). Roughly chop the parsley and sprinkle over the top, then finish with the remaining cheese and eat immediately./p>