Risotto is definitely one of my most favourite foods. I’m not sure if its all the carby goodness on offer, or just that its such a simple food to make and even easier to eat. This summer we were fortunate enough to have a little holiday in Italy. It was here that my love of risotto in general transformed into a love of risotto loaded with porcini mushrooms.
Porcini! even the word is great and better still this recipe uses dried porcini which can be kept as a store cupboard ingredient along with the risotto rice and whipped out whenever you feel a need for muchroom risotto! What more could one want after a long day at work?
I also love this recipe as its a one-pot and requires nothing more on your hob than a large, wide-based pan or wok with a lid. The key to this recipe is slow addition of the stock – just one ladle at a time allowing the rice to gradually soak in the stock and its flavours.
Preparing the porcini mushroom: The dried porcini mushrooms can cause issues for this recipe if the grit isn’t fully removed after soaking. The grit on dried mushrooms is the only downside to these little porcini’s. However, if you soak well in boiling water for a good 20 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly, most of the grit should be removed. Trust me, the final result is well worth it.
Mushroom risotto with dried porcini mushrooms
2tbsp cooking oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
200g risotto rice
150ml white wine
Knob of butter
500ml vegetable stock
40g dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes)
2 ladles of stock from soaked mushrooms
10 baby chestnut mushrooms halved
500ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried marjoram
Pinch of saffron
Juice from half a lemon
30g parmesan grated
Handful fresh sage
Jug of boiled water
Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook through until clear.
Add the rice and mix well so grains become coated with oil then immediately add the wine and simmer. Once the rice has soaked up the wine add the butter, one ladle of the vegetable stock, marjoram and saffron. Stir well and simmer.
Whilst the first ladle of stock is reducing, drain the porcini mushrooms. Save the porcini soaking liquid and leave to settle so any grit sinks to the bottom. Thoroughly rinse the porcini mushrooms in order to remove any remaining grit. Add the porcini and fresh chestnut mushrooms to the rice along with another ladle of veg stock and one ladle of porcini stock. Stir well. (Take care to not disturb any grit from the bottom of the porcini stock.)
Once the second addition of stock has reduced add the remaining veg stock and a second ladle of porcini stock, stir well, reduce to a simmer and cover.
Check the risotto every couple of minutes to ensure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom. Once the liquid has reduced for a third time the rice should now be changing to a soft creamy texture. To help this along, add 2 tbsp parmesan and mix well. Taste the risotto to check flavour and texture. If the rice appears under cooked or if the stock has reduced too much, use the extra boiled water to cook the rice for a bit longer. If the rice is cooked to your liking, season with pepper, lemon juice and add more parmesan if desired. Finally stir in chopped sage and served with a wedge of lemon and additional grated parmesan.