I can’t think of anything worth a little extra muscle than a classic Mushroom Risotto. This side dish pairs well with any roasted meats or vegetables or could be served just by itself.
Mushroom risotto is one of those recipes that takes a small amount of ingredients to make something truly phenomenal. I basically just used what I had in the house for this recipe; shallots, vermouth, butter, rice, water. That said, my favorite way to make this is with veal stock, porcini mushrooms, and French peas. Although I didn’t have any stock for this, I was able to braise a quick concentrate from the giblets that came with the chicken I was split roasting. So I added a cup or so of that in addition to the 5 cups of simmering water.
The first step for making a risotto is bringing a second pot of stock or water to a boil. You never want to add cold liquid to your risotto as it will immediately halt the cooking process. If you add cold liquid you’ll be stirring that pot for well over an hour. Add a half cup of simmering stock or water at a time then reach for some elbow grease.
Which brings me to the stirring. And the stirring. And just when you think you’re done there’s even more stirring. But really, it’s not that bad. You don’t necessarily have to be standing at the stove stirring the entire 20-30 minutes. Stir for a minute, walk away for a minute. Just be very aware of the amount of liquid that’s in the pot. Your goal is two fold here. One, slowly absorb all the liquid in to the rice without it evaporating. Two, break down the starches on the outside of the rice grains to get that creamy goodness. Trust me. You’ll feel like you accomplished something today.
Finish the risotto off the heat with a little dollop of butter and some freshly grated parmesan. Then stir it all together to bring it to Creamy Town. Or… ya know, Tastyville. Risottodelphia?
Yield 4 Servings
The classic Mushroom Risotto. No shortcuts. Deep flavor.
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup French dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 3 tb butter, divided
- 3 tb shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano
- 6 cups simmering chicken or veal stock
- Heat two tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan. Cook the shallots just until they become tender then add the rice. Stir well for a minute to coat the rice with the butter.
- Add the vermouth or wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Raise the heat to medium and add 1/2 cup simmering stock at a time. Stir constantly and with muscle until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until rice has become creamy and is al dente. This should take about 25 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and the parmesan reggiano. Stir vigorously to incorporate.
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