2 pt. vegetable or chicken stock (or porcini stock available from Waitrose)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cups rice (arborio, carnaroli, or vialone nano)
small packet dried porcini
250g/½lb button mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan plus more at the table.
- Reconstitute the mushrooms by placing in 2 cups warm water and soaking for 30 minutes.
- Lift out the mushrooms by hand, squeezing as much water out as possible back into the soaking bowl.
- Rinse the mushrooms in several changes of fresh water, scraping off any soil which may remain.
- Pat dry with paper towel.
- Chop the mushrooms finely
- Bring the stock to a slow steady simmer on a ring near the risotto pan.
- Put 1 tbsp. butter and the oil in a large broad pan and allow to melt.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent.
- Add the rice, stirring quickly but thoroughly until all the grains are coated.
- Add a ladle of the simmering stock and cook the rice, stirring regularly with a long wooden spoon, wiping the sides and bottom of the pan clean as you stir, until all the liquid is gone.
- It is important to keep stirring and clean the bottom of the pan completely as you stir, or the rice will stick
- When all the liquid is absorbed add another ladle of stock and stir in as above.
- Add the sliced fresh mushrooms
- Continue adding ladlefuls of stock, mixing in each thoroughly.
- After 10 minutes add the reconstituted mushrooms and ½ of the water they were soaked in, filtered.
- Continue to stir and when there is no more liquid, add more of the mushroom water, stirring until absorbed, until it is all gone.
- Finish cooking the rice with the remainder of the stock, and if it is all gone use some water.
- The rice should be cooked until tender but still firm to the bite, with no more liquid remaining in the pot.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the black pepper, the remaining butter and the parmesan, and stir thoroughly until the cheese melts and clings to the rice.
- Transfer to a hot platter and serve IMMEDIATELY with additional parmesan on the side. It spoils, losing its creaminess if left to stand.