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Lastnight we were all glued to the television, watching the Master Chefs show their contestants how to make a few dishes.  This one made my mouth water (although I must say, I’m not quite sure about the ‘mushroom dust’, which is made with raw tapioca flour!).

Also take note on the difference between Parmesan Cheese and Pecorino:

Refer to my post on 14 Nov 2014 about preparing freshly picked wild mushrooms for the freezer.

Serves 4
Madeira Wine
If you are looking to substitute something else for Madeira and are not concerned about cooking with alcohol, then you can substitute any of dry port, sherry or Marsala wines.  In savory dishes, you can also substitute a dry red wine, although the dish will be noticeably different as it will lack some of the complex flavors that Madeira imparts.

Mushroom stock
1kg button mushrooms
250ml Madeira
4L chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
500ml white wine
1 fresh bay leaf
1 head garlic
5 French shallots, sliced
100g fresh Shiitake mushrooms

Saute Mushrooms
1kg gourmet mushrooms (slippery jacks, pine mushrooms, swiss brown, nameko, oyster and enoki)
3 French shallots, finely diced
100g butter, at room temperature, chopped
3 sprigs thyme, finely chopped

Here are some photos of what each mushroom looks like, in order of appearance:  Nameko, Enoki, Swiss Brown, Slippery Jack, Shiitake (dried), Pine, Oyster and Procini (dried).

Mushroom dust
2 tbs tapioca flour
2 tbs mushroom powder (dried Porcini blended in coffee/spice grinder)
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
Carnaroli Rice, Gallo
1/2 finely diced brown onion
40g butter, at room temperature
Olive oil
200g Carnaroli rice (risotto rice)
100ml white wine
1.2L hot mushroom stock
1 tbs finely grated Pecorino cheese

1. To make the mushroom stock, cook all ingredients for 40 minutes in a large stock pot over medium heat. Strain the liquid discarding the mushrooms, then return the stock to the pan and reduce by half.

2. For the mushrooms, cut mushrooms trying to retain as much natural shape as possible. Sauté shallots in butter until translucent then add slippery jacks, pine and swiss brown mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding nameko, oyster mushrooms and thyme. Add a ladle of hot mushroom stock and cook for a few more minutes. Add the enoki, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

3. For the mushroom dust, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

4. To make the risotto, sauté onion in half the butter and a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat until translucent. Add rice to onions and agitate rice in pan. De-glaze with white wine, then add 2-3 ladles of hot mushroom stock. Agitate the pan until the stock is almost absorbed then add two more ladles of stock agitating again to ensure that the rice is not sticking to the base of the pan.

5. Cook rice and keep agitating until rice is almost cooked through. Turn off the heat, add 20g diced butter around the outer edges of the pan and allow the remaining stock to be absorbed by the rice. Add grated Pecorino.

6. To serve, place a few spoonfuls of rice in shallow bowl, top with mushrooms and a sprinkling of mushroom dust on the side of plate.

As the Chef explained, the principal secret of making a perfect Risotto is that you must NEVER stir the rice, just shake the pan, otherwise the starch in the rice will make the finished dish all ‘sticky’.  Also, the stock must be boiling when you ladle it into the rice, otherwise it will take its time to warm up again.

And here was my first attempt at this risotto.  Although I only used a mixture of normal everyday mushrooms and the most common wild mushrooms, as I didn’t have time to search for all the exotic ones!!  I didn’t have Madeira, so I replaced it with ‘Pedro Jiménez’ (a kind of sweet sherry) and used parmesan instead of pecorino cheese.  But the end result was extremely tasty (although without a doubt not as good as it would be with the right ingredients).

And if you just want a quick Risotto, here’s a link to Delia Smith’s “Cheats’ Risotto Milanese” (which looks pretty easy and doesn’t require any hard-to-find ingredients:
Risotto Milanese