If you read my website often, you’ll know that I have a serious bone to pick with restaurants that overcharge for risotto. It’s rice! People think it’s some exotic dish that’s impossible to prepare, when the reality is that it’s very achievable for most home cooks, even on weeknights. Master homemade risotto and then save your bucks for other things when you go out to eat.

If you can’t find the exact mushrooms I used in my version, feel free to experiment with other mushroom varieties.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes (mostly inactive)
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound (about 5 cups) fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup diced white onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine or lager beer
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Method

  1. Add boiling water to dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and let sit for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Remove mushrooms and wring them out to press out as much liquid as possible. Then roughly chop mushrooms and reserve for later.
  2. Add the liquid from the mushrooms to a large pot along with beef stock and bring to a low simmer.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add sliced cremini mushrooms and a Pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms lose their moisture and are slightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove mushrooms and combine with reconstituted mushrooms.
  4. Add onions to the pan along with another tablespoon of oil if the pan is dry. Cook until onions start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add rice to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add wine or beer to the pan and use the liquid to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the pan.
  7. Once wine or beer has evaporated, start ladling in hot stock in ¾-cup increments. As you add the stock, slowly stir the risotto so the liquid is evenly distributed. You Don’t need to constantly stir risotto, as is often said, but you do need to keep an eye on it and stir it regularly.
  8. When the pan is dry, add more hot stock and continue to stir until the rice grains are cooked through but still have a slight bite to them. Depending on your pan, your heat, and a few other factors, this will most likely take 6 to 8 cups of stock and probably around 30 to 40 minutes. Taste the risotto as it cooks to test for doneness.
  9. When the rice is soft but still has a tiny bite to it (not mushy), stir in all the cooked mushrooms. Cook for another few minutes to combine flavors, then season the risotto with salt and pepper.
  10. Top risotto with shredded Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil and serve immediately!
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