Red Wine Mushroom Risotto, adapted from epicurious.com
All risotto, when done right, is a little bit magic, right? Very ordinary ingredients - rice, wine, broth - are turned into something luxurious and creamy and something wholly different from the way it started. This red wine risotto is very earthy - with both porcini mushrooms and porcini broth. I really liked the use of red wine in this rather than the usual white. The flavor of the wine really infused the rice, so please use a wine you would really like to drink. I don't make risotto a lot because frankly I don't like recipes that require me to stand anxiously at the stove, stirring, and stirring, but this dish is worth the work, trust me.
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
1 and 1/2 pounds of fresh crimini or white mushrooms (I went with crimini, I think any kind of wild and expensive mushroom would really bring this to an out of this world level and next time I will try that).
6 tablespoons of butter
5-6 cups of chicken broth
6 ounces of pancetta, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped sage
3 cups arborio rice
2 cups dry red wine (I would say rather than dry, just use something that tastes good, that's what I did)
1 cup grated Parmesan
- In a small bowl, soak the porcini in boiling water for 30 minutes until they are plumped up. Drain the porcini but save the soaking liquid.
- Chop the porcini and set aside.
- Take half of the fresh mushrooms and chop finely. Set aside.
- Take the other half of the fresh mushrooms and quarter or slice them.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skilled at cook the large pieces mushrooms, with salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes until nicely browned. Set aside (keep the mushrooms in the skillet.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the broth so that it is just barely simmering.
- In a large saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes.
- Add the onions, finely chopped mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of butter, herbs and salt and pepper and stir until onions are wilted. [Careful with the salt here since the pancetta already is pretty salty).
- Add the rice and stir for 1 minute until the rice if coated with the fats.
- Add one cup of the wine and stir slowly until the wine is absorbed.
- Add the second cup of wine and stir until the wine is absorbed.
- Now, add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring in between additions and not adding more liquid until the liquid is absorbed in the rice. Keep stirring. About half way through the process, use the porcini liquid and add the chopped porcini mushrooms into the mix.
- In about 20 minutes or so the risotto should be ready - the rice should still have some bite, it isn't porridge.
- When the risotto is close to ready, heat the reserved mushrooms in the skillet till just warm. Stir the mushrooms and the cheese into the risotto and serve. You can garnish with some of the fuller cooked mushrooms.