Mushroom risotto

Recipe by:

Everyone needs to be able to whip up a risotto, comfort food at its best and a base for so many good things, from exotic mushrooms, crispy pork lardons or kale to foraged nettles

Mushroom risotto

SERVES

6

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

5

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

25

MINUTES

CUISINE

Italian

COURSE

Main

Method

  1. First, bring the stock to the boil, reduce the heat and keep it at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the oil, add the onion, cover and sweat over a gentle heat for 4–5 minutes until soft but not coloured.

  2. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Cook for a minute or so and then add 150ml (5fl oz) of the simmering stock, stir continuously, and as soon as the liquid is absorbed add another 150ml (5fl oz) of stock. Continue to cook, stirring constantly. The heat should be brisk, but on the other hand, if it’s too hot the rice will be soft outside but still chewy inside. If it’s too slow, the rice will be gluey. It’s difficult to know which is worse, so the trick is to regulate the heat so that the rice bubbles continuously.

  3. The risotto should take 25–30 minutes to cook.

  4. After about 20 minutes, add the stock about four tablespoons at a time. I use a small ladle. Watch it very carefully from there on. The risotto is done when the rice is cooked but is still ever so slightly al dente. It should be soft and creamy and quite loose, rather than thick. The moment you are happy with the texture, add in the well-seasoned hot sautéed mushrooms, stir in the remaining butter and Parmesan, taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately on hot plates.

  5. Alternatively , you can pre-cook the rice for finishing later. After about 10 minutes of cooking, taste a grain or two between your teeth. It should be firm, slightly gritty, definitely undercooked but not completely raw. Remove the risotto from the saucepan and spread it out on a flat dish to cool as quickly as possible. The rice can be reheated later with some of the remaining stock and the cooking and finishing of the risotto can be completed. Risotto does not benefit from hanging around – the texture should be really soft and flowing.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1.3 litres (1 ¾ – 2  ¼ pints) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 50g (2oz) butter

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 400g (14oz) risotto rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano

  • 50g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a mixture of Parmesan and Pecorino

  • sea salt

  • 225–350g (8–12oz) a selection of sliced and sautéed mushrooms (lion’s mane, chestnut, oyster, porcini, chanterelles)

Method

  1. First, bring the stock to the boil, reduce the heat and keep it at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the oil, add the onion, cover and sweat over a gentle heat for 4–5 minutes until soft but not coloured.

  2. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Cook for a minute or so and then add 150ml (5fl oz) of the simmering stock, stir continuously, and as soon as the liquid is absorbed add another 150ml (5fl oz) of stock. Continue to cook, stirring constantly. The heat should be brisk, but on the other hand, if it’s too hot the rice will be soft outside but still chewy inside. If it’s too slow, the rice will be gluey. It’s difficult to know which is worse, so the trick is to regulate the heat so that the rice bubbles continuously.

  3. The risotto should take 25–30 minutes to cook.

  4. After about 20 minutes, add the stock about four tablespoons at a time. I use a small ladle. Watch it very carefully from there on. The risotto is done when the rice is cooked but is still ever so slightly al dente. It should be soft and creamy and quite loose, rather than thick. The moment you are happy with the texture, add in the well-seasoned hot sautéed mushrooms, stir in the remaining butter and Parmesan, taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately on hot plates.

  5. Alternatively , you can pre-cook the rice for finishing later. After about 10 minutes of cooking, taste a grain or two between your teeth. It should be firm, slightly gritty, definitely undercooked but not completely raw. Remove the risotto from the saucepan and spread it out on a flat dish to cool as quickly as possible. The rice can be reheated later with some of the remaining stock and the cooking and finishing of the risotto can be completed. Risotto does not benefit from hanging around – the texture should be really soft and flowing.

Execution Time: 0.326 s