Baked Mushroom Risotto
This recipe gives you all the creamy comfort of a risotto, with a lot less stirring. It’s a great method if you’re lucky enough have some really good mushrooms (such as penny buns, orange birch boletes or chanterelles). Rather than being simmered in the stock, which might spoil their wonderful texture and flavour, they’re sautéed separately and stirred through at the end. A few slices of dried mushroom and their soaking liquor bring an undertone of mushroomy richness to the rice. You can use any risotto rice, but we find that Carnaroli gives the best consistency when baked.
- 5g dried mushrooms (use those with a good flavour, such as penny buns or other boletes, trooping funnels or St George’s mushrooms)
- 80g butter
- 1 small onion or banana shallot, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 250g risotto rice (use the Carnaroli type if you can get it )
- 150ml Madeira or dry white wine
- 350ml well-flavoured stock
- 250g wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- A little lemon juice, about 2 teaspoons
- 4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 30g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling at the table
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Put the dried mushrooms into a small heatproof bowl and cover with 200ml boiling water. Leave to stand for 15 minutes to rehydrate.
- Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole (preferably one that has a lid) set over a medium heat and gently cook the onion and celery until softened, for about 10 minutes.
- Lift the dried mushrooms out of the soaking liquid (reserve the liquid for later) and chop them finely. Add them to the pan with the thyme and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir well to coat with the butter. Cook gently for a couple of minutes or so until the rice starts to smell nutty. Add the madeira or wine and allow it to boil off before adding the stock. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a sieve lined with sheet of kitchen paper, then add the strained liquid to the pan. Bring to the boil, then cover the dish (with foil if you don’t have a lid) and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the rice is tender but just retaining its shape.
- Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms. Cut or tear them into large chunks and leave any smaller ones whole. Melt 20g of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and when it foams add the sliced garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until very lightly coloured, then add the chanterelles. Toss them in the garlic butter and raise the heat. Cook them until they are tender but still retaining their shape (timing will depend on what mushrooms you have). Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice, then scatter in half the parsley. Set aside.
- When the risotto is done, remove it from the oven and stir it vigorously to give it a creamy texture. You may need to add a splash of boiling water to loosen its consistency to your liking. Stir in the remaining butter, the parmesan and then lightly fold in the fried mushrooms. Taste for seasoning, then serve on warmed plates scattered with the remaining parsley and some extra parmesan.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK