Mushroom risotto is undoubtedly one of the more popular risotto variations, so it might come as a surprise that it’s the 5th risotto I’ve uploaded to the blog. Yes, before this I’ve uploaded a quail risotto and a langoustine risotto…talk about off the cuff. However the method for this delicious mushroom risotto is a bit different than previous recipes – although it still does employ my risotto secret recipe!
Many people are apprehensive about cooking a risotto because of the constant attention required. However just because a recipe says to “stir the rice for 30 minutes” doesn’t mean you have to put all your focus towards that. For example I usually zone out while stirring risotto and watch TV or read a book with my free hand. It’s quite therapeutic.
What Mushrooms To Use For Mushroom Risotto?
Truth be told you can pretty much use any mushroom you prefer. For this mushroom risotto recipe I am just using simple Swiss Brown, or cremini, mushrooms. You can use oyster, chanterelle, shiitake, or others if you like. I would recommend not using truffle mushrooms in this recipe, as they are better shaved atop a risotto after it is finished.
This recipe calls for 400 grams of mushrooms, which sounds like a whole lot, but remember they lose a ton of water as they cook. Spend a few minutes thinly slicing your mushrooms before beginning to get everything in order.
Mushroom Risotto Ingredients
To make a truly great risotto you must begin with the rice. There are a few authentic rice strains you can choose, but the most common and easily accessible is probably arborio. This recipe calls for:
180 grams (1cup) Arborio Rice
400 grams Cremini Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Two Shallots, finely chopped
175 ml (3/4 cup) Dry White Vermouth
1.4L (6 cups) Chicken Stock
3 tbsp Butter
50 grams Gran Padano (or Parmigiano Reggiano), grated
Risotto Cooking Method
In a pan on high heat add a few glugs of olive oil. When hot add in the rice and stir the pan so the rice is coated with the hot oil. This step is to toast the rice and help create cracks in the rice making absorption of liquids easier. Agitate the pan for a minute or so, until you see a few kernels browning.
All real risotto recipes call for a splash of wine right after toasting the rice, but my secret ingredient has always been vermouth. Now, normally I use Lillet Blanc, but as that’s a bit sweet and I want more earthiness, I went with Carpano Dry in this recipe. Add in 3/4ths of a cup and stand back.
The vermouth will evaporate much faster than you would expect. As soon as your pour the vermouth in shake the pan a bit and then add the shallots directly to the rice. Use a wooden spoon to stir them into the rice.
Once almost all the vermouth is gone add in a cup of the chicken stock along with a handful of the mushrooms. I say a handful because there’s only so much you can add at one time until they shrink and make more room. A note here, a cup of chicken stock in the beginning is normally a lot when starting risotto, as I normally go in 1/4 cup increments. However because we need the mushrooms to cook with the rice the extra liquid in the beginning is necessary.
From this point on you’re just going to be stirring and adding the rest of the liquid as it goes down. With mushroom risotto you are trying to really bring out the great earthy flavors of the mushrooms, but be careful not to break them up. Stir in a figure 8 movement slowly, and every once in a while go along the edges to prevent burning. Every time the liquid gets low add in another 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Finally, after adding your last 1/4 cup of liquid turn off the heat and drop in the butter.
After adding the butter add in the grated Gran Padano (or Parmigiano Reggiano) and slowly stir the pan.
Your delicious mushroom risotto is finished and should look like the picture above. Here you can taste for seasonings and add salt and freshly cracked black pepper as desired. I didn’t add salt in the ingredients list because my chicken stock was already salted, and the cheese adds a bit more (plus I finished off the dish with a little grated cured egg yolk). However, if you are using non-salted chicken stock then add in two teaspoons to the liquid before starting this recipe.
- 180 grams Arborio Rice 1 cup
- 400 grams Cremini Mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- 175 ml Dry White Vermouth 3/4 cup
- 1.4 L Chicken Stock 6 cups
- Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 50 grams Gran Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- Salt as needed (if your stock is without salt)
- Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- In a pan on high heat add a glug of olive oil. When hot add in the rice and toast for a minute, making sure all the grains are coated in hot oil.
- Add in the vermouth and stir the pan. The vermouth will evaporate quickly so as soon as you add it and stir, add in the shallot and stir them in as well.
- When the vermouth is almost gone, pour in 1 cup of the chicken stock and as much of the mushrooms as will fit. Let the mushrooms soften in the liquid and shrink a bit in size, then add more as more room is made.
- When the liquid begins to get low, add in more using 1/4 – 1/2 cup increments. Constantly stir the rice in the pan, being careful not to break up the mushrooms.
- Once you add in your last 1/4 cup of stock turn off the heat and drop in the butter and grated cheese. Carefully stir the pan until the butter and cheese are fully incorporated into the dish. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and black pepper if you desire.
- Plate and serve. You can garnish with fresh herbs, more grated cheese, or in my case a bit of cured egg yolk.
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