200g mushrooms sliced
½ red onion, finely diced
3 rashers Butcher Co. bacon
150g risotto rice
½ cup white wine (dry)
3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 sprig rosemary
40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tbsp Chives or parsley, finely chopped
Small knob of butter
Remove rind from bacon and render down in a large heavy based saucepan. Cut bacon rashers into fine strips. Remove rind from pan and add onion and bacon strips and saute for 2 minutes. Add mushroom slices and coat well with pan oils. Add cracked black pepper and rosemary if using, I find they infuse into the mushroom mixture at this point. Continue to saute until mushrooms have some caramelisation and most pan juices have evaporated. Then add rice. Coat well with bacon mushroom mixture and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and reduce heat. Cook for a couple of minutes until wine has been absorbed. Start to add stock ½ cup at a time. Stir in well and then leave to absorb until bubbles form on the top of the rice mixture. Add more stock at this point – do not stir until you have added the stock and then gently mix through. Repeat until all stock has been used. Before the last ½ cup stock, taste the risotto – there still should be a little bit of bite to the rice – then add the remaining stock and after 2 minutes turn off the heat. Add the grated parmesan, butter, lemon juice and chopped herbs. Leave to sit for 2-5 minutes. Serve immediately.
For a vegetarian verison omit the bacon and use olive oil to saute onions & mushrooms.