Mushroom risotto is a once a month meal in our house, a constant go to favourite comfort food. It’s one of those dishes that can be equally as good for a vegetarian or a meat eater as the flavour from mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil give all the umami flavour required to keep everyone happy.
I use beef stock to give the risotto a deep ooomph, but, you can easily replace this with vegetable stock if desired.
150g risotto rice
1 banana shallot, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small palm full of dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms
Small bunch of parsley
1 tsp of fresh thyme, chopped
1 litre of hot beef stock
100ml white wine
150g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
75g finely grated parmesan cheese
Truffle oil and rocket to serve (optional)
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, allow them to soak for 30 minutes before lifting them out of the liquid with a slotted spoon, strain the liquid into a clean bowl to remove any grit from the mushrooms and reserve the liquid for the risotto. Finely dice the now re-hydrated soft mushrooms. Heat the stock in a small saucepan and keep it hot.
Heat a frying pan or saute pan over a low heat and add a lug of olive oil and a small knob of butter, add the onion and gently fry for 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent but not coloured, add the garlic. Holding the bunch of parsley tightly slice away the tips of the stalks and discard, then, finely slice the stalks in a sweeping motion until you have about an inch of finely chopped parsley root and add this to the pan along with the thyme. Now add the rice and mix well, stir for 2-3 minutes until the rice begins to turn slightly translucent, it’s now ready to take on liquid.
Add the white wine and stir the rice continuously until the white wine is absorbed, at this stage add the finely chopped mushrooms and the reserved liquid. Again allow this to be absorbed by the rice while stirring continuously to release the starch. Each time the pan nearly runs dry add another ladel of stock to the rice. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked and soft but with a very slight bite, about 30 minutes typically. When you have the desired texture add a little more stock and stir well but don’t allow it to completely absorb and turn off the heat. At this stage add the parmesan cheese and 25g butter to the pan, cover with a lid and rest for about 3 minutes to rest the rice and for the last stock to absorb.
Meanwhile, heat a separate frying pan over a high heat and add a lug of olive oil then the chestnut mushrooms. Season with salt and black pepper and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured, add a small knob of butter to the mushrooms and toss for a further minute or 2 until golden. Set aside to serve.
Remove the lid from the risotto and stir it well, you want a creamy oozing texture so add more stock if you think it’s too thick and taste for seasoning, add a touch of salt if necessary. Serve the rissotto in the centre of a plate or bowl and drizzle with truffle oil.
Add the cooked mushrooms and finish with a handful of fresh peppery rocket if you like.