I’ve written quite a lot in the past about how much easier it is to go shopping with a pre-written list. It makes a trip around the supermarket so much easier when you know what you’re actually looking for. Of course it can be frustrating if they don’t have something I really want, but fortunately that’s been a rare occurrence so far. I’d recommend keeping a shopping list on the go through the week to anyone. It really does make things easier.
Though as we drift into Winter I’ve been ignoring my own advice. Work always gets busier at this time of year and the dark evenings see me nearly hibernating rather than planning our meals. Yep, even writing a shopping list can sometimes be a little too much effort. As such the more recent shopping trips have been a bit of return to the indecisive and rather random. Maybe I just prefer to spend time under a sea of fluorescent lights than outside in the murky twilight? It’s certainly not to be around other people also aimlessly meandering around the aisles…
Anyway, back to the food! The reason for that rambling introduction was to set the scene for this recipe. One of the very minor benefits of not shopping with a list is that you tend to look at other things on the shelves. Just in the slight hope that they’ll give you the inspiration that you’re otherwise lacking. It’s not quite foraging in the edges of some wild woodland I admit, but it’s a lot warmer!
I found some romanesco in the supermarket recently – which was delicious with some roasted pork. I also came across some beautiful golden chanterelle mushrooms. I simply had to buy them even though I had no idea what I was going do with them. Well, as is so often the case in this house it wasn’t long before they ended up in a risotto…
Here they are very much the star of the dish, supported as they are by a little bit of pancetta and plenty of garlic. When you have good ingredients you don’t want to lose them after all. Indeed, I’m going to let them have all the attention and say nothing more. Apart from suggesting that if you see some on your next trip to the shops then why not try making this lovely Wild Mushroom Risotto.
Wild Mushroom & Pancetta Risotto
- 100 g Wild Mushrooms I used Chanterelle
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 65 g Pancetta Cubes
- 1 Shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp Fresh Thyme leaves finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 150 g Arborio Rice
- 100 ml Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock kept warm
- 1 tsp Butter
- 25 g Parmesan grated
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped
- Wash the mushrooms and pat dry with some kitchen paper. Chop half of the mushrooms finely, leaving the rest whole. Put to one side until needed.
- Put a large frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the olive oil and the pancetta cubes. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the pancetta is starting to turn golden and the fat has started to render down.
- Add the chopped shallot and fresh thyme to the pan and stir to coat in the oily mixture. Sauté for a further 5-10 minutes until the shallot has softened, taking care to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add in the garlic then fry for a further minute until fragrant. Finally, add in the chopped mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes until tender. Remove the pancetta, mushroom and shallot mixture from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the oil as you can.
- Turn the heat up, adding a splash more oil to the pan if needed. Pour in the rice and stir in the oily mixture until well coated, then cook for a couple of minutes until the ends of each grain have turned slightly translucent.
- Pour in the vermouth – it will bubble vigorously but you want to keep stirring the rice constantly until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a generous ladle of the stock into the pan and stir continuously.
- When almost all of the stock has been absorbed add another ladle to the pan, continuing to stir the rice. Repeat this process until the rice is almost cooked through and it has created a rich, creamy coating – this should take around 15-18 minutes. You may not need all of the stock – so proceed with caution to avoid making the risotto too wet (see next step).
- Return the pancetta, mushroom and shallot mixture to the pan and stir through the rice. This will add a little more moisture to the risotto, which is why it’s important to not add too much stock earlier on in the process.
- Whilst the risotto is finishing cooking cook the whole mushrooms. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan, along with the butter. Add the whole mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes, until tender. When cooked cover and keep warm.
- When the rice is tender and cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and stir through the grated Parmesan cheese and most of the chopped parsley.
- Divide the risotto between two bowls, then top with the softened whole mushrooms. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve immediately.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||9||g|
|of which Sugars||3||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|