I always used to be put off making risotto because I thought it was really difficult. I am terrible at cooking rice, I hold my hands up and admit it! I just never seem to master the art of getting it quite right and risotto seemed like a technically lofty goal! I think because I’ve also had terrible experiences ordering risotto in restaurants, I thought ‘if the pro’s cant even get it right, how am I going to be able to?!’
I now realise that if risotto is made to order in a restaurant it’s no wonder it comes out undercooked or with too much liquid, it’s because they simply don’t have the time and patience to cook it from scratch while a customer waits. The one thing I’ve learned through trial and error is that risotto needs time. It can’t be rushed. Getting the perfect cook on your arborio rice is about the balance of time, heat and stock/liquid. The process for me has become very organic now and I’ll do my best to put that into words and instructions for you. If you have the right measurements of ingredients as listed below, the rest is relatively easy. You just needs some patience. So don’t cook this if you are in a rush or feeling stressed!
- 250g of Arborio Rice
- 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1 small brown onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 200g Button/Chestnut mushrooms
- Porcini mushrooms (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of mixed Italian herbs
- 3/4 cup of White wine
- 900ml of vegetable stock
- Vegan Parmesan
1. Chop your garlic and onion very finely.
2. Add your olive oil to a large saucepan and once hot, add your onion and garlic and stir for about 2-3 minutes until it’s starts to soften. Add your buttercup/chestnut mushrooms and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Lower your heat to a medium temperature. Add your rice to the mix and your herbs and stir till it’s completely covered in the oil. Then add your wine and stir until it’s fully absorbed.
4. Now to add your vegetable stock. Do this is small increments. It’s the key to your success. Add enough stock so that it just about covers the level of the rice. Reduce your temperature slightly and stir slowly but continuously until the rice has absorbed the stock. Repeat this roughly 3 times until all your stock has been added. On a low temperature the rice will absorb the stock slowly without sticking to the pot. You should also not end up with any excess liquid. If you cook it too quickly on a high temperature, the stock will evaporate rather than absorb and the rice will stick and remain hard.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a few spoonfuls of vegan parmesan and stir through. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.
If you are using the addition of dried porcini mushrooms, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and then roughly chop them and add in at the very end. There are no rules about what mushrooms you use and how many varieties. That's up to you! Stock cube. It's fine to use a 'vegan friendly' vegetable stock cube or ready made stock. I'm a very busy person, so I don't have time to make my own vegetable stock although I'd love to! No judgement here if you choose to use a stock cube and more power to you if you make it from scratch!