I really don’t know what all the fuss is, I certainly was put off making risotto because of its reputation. Time wise, it’s not a lengthy process, no longer than 30 minutes and skill wise…well just follow the recipe. If you don’t have dried porcini (I got them in my local Lidl in the veg section) leave them out or use fresh mushrooms.
DRIED PORCINI BACON AND THYME RISOTTO
55g dried porcini
1 pint boiling water
1 litre vegetable stock
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 sticks of celery finely chopped
6 slices of smokey bacon chopped onto small pieces
500g risotto rice
Large glass of white wine
50g Parmesan grated
Tablespoon of butter
Small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves only
Salt n pepper
First of all soak your porcini in 1 pint of boiling water. Then pour the stock into a pan and leave on a low heat. Using a large pan heat a good splash of olive oil and add the onion and celery and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes or till soft( but not browned). Add the bacon and cook for a further two minutes. Add the rice and a pinch of salt and cook for two minutes stirring the onion and bacon through. Add the wine and cook till absorbed. Add two ladles of stock and stir. At this point scoop out your soaked porcini and add to the pan. Pour the juices from the porcini through a muslin into the stock and mix in. Add another couple of ladles of stock, stir and allow to be cooked into the rice before adding more. Keep doing this for 16-17 minutes or till the rice is just cooked or al dente. You want the mixture to be quite loose and sloppy at this point because the rice will continue to suck up the juices while its resting. Take the pan off the heat stir in your butter, Parmesan and thyme leaves. Season to taste. Allow to rest with the lid on for two minutes. Serve your nice oozing risotto with a little extra Parmesan and thyme leaves.