October 26, 2017
It’s the deliciously comforting Italian dish that has gone from a fine dining favourite to a Sunday night staple in a matter of years.
But perfecting the art of making a risotto can be tricky, even for the most confident and ‘celebrated’ home chefs.
According to Alison Roman at Bon Appétit that may very well be because many of the ‘tricks’ we’ve been taught about making risotto are in fact hindering – rather than helping – our culinary success.
For example, while many of us have learned that constant stirring is the key to making risotto, Alison says this technique often leads to a “gluey” consistency. Instead she advises stirring often but not continuously to give the rice (and your arms) a break.
Alison also advises to keep your stock at a simmer while adding it to the rice, so that it absorbs the liquid quickly and consistently.
“Adding chilly stock to a hot pan will cool everything down and mess up the cooking process,” she writes. “Keep stock at a simmer in a small pan so everything stays hot and cooks evenly.”
Like all good home chefs, enjoying a glass of wine while we cook seems to make the whole process so much more civilised, so our top risotto recipe tip is to add a dash of good quality, textural white wine – like a Chardonnay, Viognier or Roussanne – to your stock as it simmers.
This will add a lovely depth of flavour to the final dish… and gives you an excellent excuse to open that nice bottle of white mid-week.
This wild mushroom and thyme risotto recipe pairs beautifully with our Yalumba’s Eden Valley Roussanne and is so simple to cook, you can make it any night of the week.
2 glasses of Yalumba’s Eden Valley Roussanne
2 tbsp butter . 1 tbsp Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
250g Arborio rice
500ml of chicken (or vegetable) stock
A handful of thyme
A few sprigs of rosemary
½ cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
2 large handfuls of sliced wild mushrooms (shiitake, swiss brown, oyster)
Micro herbs and shaved parmesan to garnish
Pour yourself a glass of the Eden Valley Roussanne, then add a glass to a saucepan and top it up with stock.
Heat the stock and wine mixture slowly and keep it at a low simmer.
Heat the oil and half of the butter in a heavy based pan, and cook the onion and garlic until softened.
Add the thyme and rosemary and stir to release the aroma.
Add the rice and stir it through the oil until it starts to look translucent. Slowly ladle the stock into the rice mixture, stirring to allow each ladle to absorb completely before adding the next ladle.
Repeat until the rice is cooked “al dente” – Italian for “to the tooth”.
Pan fry the wild mushrooms in the remaining butter until browned.
Take the risotto off the heat and stir in half of the cooked mushrooms, along with the grated parmesan, cracked pepper and salt (only if needed) to taste.
Serve the risotto, topping it with the remaining cooked mushrooms, a good drizzle of Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, shaved parmesan and micro herbs. Pair with a glass of Yalumba’s Eden Valley Roussanne.