Truffle and Chestnut Risotto
This easy dish is a serious game changer for anyone who thinks they can cook a good risotto; with two extra ingredients you can take a wonderful risotto bianco to its peak. I don’t think you can match this one. Fresh black truffle and sweet chestnuts are perfect partners.
Firstly, I can already hear a few moaning voices, oh truffle, I’ll need to re mortgage for that, blah blah blah.. get over it. The truffle I’m using here is the cheaper end of the truffle market, it cost me £22 from a great stall in Borough Market and will do two strong portions or four not so strong portion.
You need a handful of ingredients to make a good risotto and if follow this, you will smash it every time. It’s simple, but needs attention.
I’ve been saving this one for a few weeks as I wasn’t sure if I would be able to trump it with something else down the line, but I had to share this with you all.
You would (well I would…) spend £20 on a round of drinks in the blink of an eye. I suggest you stay in, buy a truffle and treat yourself to one of the best meals you will have had in a long time. If you don’t live in London, you can order fresh truffles online, call first and enquire when they were harvested and what their shelf life will be from delivery. Wrapped in tissue paper it will keep for around 5 days in your fridge. In all honestly it shouldn’t last that long, just use it and enjoy it. Don’t be cheap!
The chestnuts I’m using are pre-cooked vacuum packed, which are perfect as they are a seasonable product and actually a pain in the behind to cook. Buy pre-cooked, they are a high quality ready product.
I’ve been for dinner before where the host is a self confessed risotto masters. Only be served some gloppy thick, chewy mess of rice and what was once liquid. That is not risotto. It took me more disasters than you would think to perfect the art of risotto making, it’s just practice and trusting your self not to let it go dry.
Yes, I am ungrateful and no I’m not sorry for it. For a dish so simple it can be ruined with such ease. Miss Hungry loves risotto and is a risotto nazi. I was told by her which I take as a good level of criticism, that this one was as good as Angela Hartnett’s and better than Theo Randal’s… I’m not quite sure as they are both legendary chefs!
I use carnaroli rice which I find gets plumper and releases more starch which helps to give that luxury, velvet texture, whilst still holding just enough bite. It’s the daddy of risotto rice.
How to cook
1) soften your shallots in butter and a drop of oil
2) add a glass of white wine and reduce by three quarters
3) add your rice and coat in the juices and stir for a minute or two
4) add your stock one ladle at a time until near all the stock has soaked up then keep adding and stirring constantly in the same direction for around 18 minutes. Take a few grains and check when still have some bite left in them, you are not far off.
Note: when you stir, it’s important to keep the direction constant as you want the grains to roll over and gently bump into each other and encourage each other to release their starch which make the dish sumptuous. I use a risotto paddle which is gentle on the grains and helps them roll.
5) once the rice feels nearly cooked add a tiny bit more stock – this is when you can ruin the dish. Trust me here, you will think its too watery, it’s not.
6) add the extra butter and parmesan and some pepper, easy on the salt as stock can be quite salty also add chopped chestnuts, keep a few for dressing the dish.
7) lid on and leave it to settle for a few minutes. The parmesan acts like a sponge sucking up the moisture and will be surprised how much different that makes. If looks to stiff add tablespoon by tablespoon of stock.
8) finely slice your truffle, you don’t need a truffle blade, I use a speed peeler and it works just fine.
9) gently add your truffle on top of your risotto, take a moment to look at this thing of beauty first before you tuck in!
Note- your risotto once on the plate or in the bowl should flow like lava down a mountainside, slowly but surely. If it looks like you could use it as plaster then its far too dry, don’t put the truffle on, make it again!
Tags: chestnut, Italian, Quick & easy, recipes, risotto, truffle
Ingredients €0.00 (4 Servings)