This risotto is perfect for a cozy winter evening, bursting with an earthy mushroom flavour from the porcini stock and rich with creamy parmesan.
30g porcini mushrooms
2 banana shallots, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
250g risotto rice (arborio or canaroli are both good)
120ml white wine
1-1.5l vegetable stock
100g parmesan, finely grated
150g wild mushrooms, cleaned with a damp brush
Creme fraiche, optional to serve
Begin by soaking the porcini mushrooms in 200ml boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
Drain the porcini over a small saucepan, retaining the porcini stock in the pan and place this over a heat to bring to a gentle simmer. Prepare the vegetable stock by heating it in a separate saucepan to a simmer.
Finely chop through the soaked mushrooms and set aside.
While the porcini are soaking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and 25g of the butter in a deep, heavy based frying pan. Add the shallots and sweat down over a low/medium heat until softened and just starting to take on colour. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
Add the risotto rice to the pan and fry for 5 minutes over a medium/high heat, stirring to coat the rice grains. The grains should start to appear transparent and become too hot to hold.
Add the white wine and bring to a simmer to evaporate off the alcohol.
Start adding the porcini stock, one ladle at a time. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add another ladle and continue until all the porcini stock is finished. Then continue this process with the vegetable stock.
After about 10 minutes, add the chopped porcini mushrooms. After another 8-12 minutes the rice should be cooked through to al dente – it should have some bite to it but not taste chalky.
Adjust the cooking and consistency to your liking, adding more stock if you prefer a looser, creamier consistency. Risotto should have a ‘sigh’ to it instead of sitting on the plate in a lump.
Take off the heat and stir in 50g of the butter and parmesan, reserving some of the cheese to garnish. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper (the parmesan will give a lot of salty flavour). Cover the pan with a lid and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
While the risotto is resting, heat a separate frying pan with a little oil and butter and fry the fresh mushrooms until softened slightly and starting to take on a golden colour. Sprinkle over a little sea salt and set aside.
Stir through the risotto and divide between 4 plates. Sprinkle over the extra parmesan and finish with the wild mushrooms.
Photography by Holly Farrier