Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

This risotto was made with beef broth, but can be made with chicken or vegetable broth as well. I just happened to have made a beef roast a few days ago. I hate to waste any food, so I saved the dripping and exudate and added the bones when the roast was consumed and tossed them in a skillet with water, salt and pepper and let boil until I got a rich, brown broth. I ended up with about 5 1/2 cups of broth which was perfect for risotto. I strained the broth and put it in a covered saucepan and set that on the stove on simmer.

I cut up about two cups of mushrooms. I used plain button mushrooms, but you can use just about any mushrooms you like. I cut them into slices and in a heavy pan, I tossed them in without oil or water and let them cook dry for about 4 minutes or so. This potentiates their flavor in a way that you cannot get with mushrooms cooked in water or oil from the beginning and is a great trick to make really rich mushroom dishes.

Then I added 2 TBSP of butter, 1/3 cup of chopped onions and 1 TBSP of fresh chopped thyme and let saute until the onions were transparent.

Next I added 2/3 cups of white wine and let it cook down by half – stirring it in well with the mushrooms and onions. After a minute or two, when it had cooked down, I added 1 3/4 cups of Arborio rice, stirring it in well and lightly toasting it before adding 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stirring and stirring.

This began the 25 minutes of stirring the rice fairly constantly while slowly adding another 1/2 cup of broth as the rice absorbs the fluid, adding more broth, stirring and adding more broth. You will make a mess of it if you add all your fluid at once, so just be patient. While you are stirring and adding broth, you should take a brick of parmesan asiago and shred about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cheese to add at the end.

After you have added your 5 1/2 to 6 cups of broth, your rice may not be al dente yet. Resist the temptation to add more water, though, because you do not want mushy risotto. Instead, go ahead and stir in your parmesan cheese, mixing it thoroughly and then put a cover on your pan, taking it off the heat and letting it rest for 5 minutes or so. It will finish cooking and absorbing all the fluid and flavors and result in the rich, flavorful ad dente risotto you want.

This is not one serving – it makes six. Frankly, if I am going to make something that requires this much stirring, it’s going to last for a few meals.

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