Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Mushroom risotto

1 small pack of pancetta, or 3/4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped
1 onion
A really good squeeze of garlic paste
2 packs of mushrooms
250g risotto rice
chicken stock
Dried thyme (fresh is ace but this is a good what's-in-the-cupboard dinner)
black pepper
parmesan, grated to taste

Cook off the pancetta first to let the fat render, then add the onions and soften. Stir in the garlic, and add the chopped mushrooms, black pepper and thyme (a really good shake). Put the lid on, turn it down and leave them for a good fifteen minutes so everything is brown and sludgy and delicious smelling.

Put the kettle on, and while it's boiling add your rice to the pot and stir so it starts to cook. When the kettle's boiled, add enough water to barely cover the rice, at least one stock cube (possibly one and a half), and stir. Put the lid on, and now you will have to hover and keep stirring and (possibly) adding water. If you wanted to you could use a glass of wine in with the stock; if you do, add it before the stock goes in and let the alcohol cook off. Same rules apply then though - just barely cover the rice with the water - I mean there should still be some bits of rice breaking the surface of the water, do not drown it!

Anyway while that's doing, and it'll take about 15 minutes, grate your pile of parmesan, have a smoke etc, and keep giving it the occasional stir so it doesn't catch too much. If it starts to dry up too much - it should suck up the liquid but not be completely solid - add a little more water from the kettle but don't go drowning it or it'll be horrible.

When it's cooked (taste it to check), just take it off the heat, stir the cheese through thoroughly, and put the lid back on for a minute or two just to let it come together. Then eat eat eat! :D

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