Wild Mushroom Risotto

I'm so glad some of you asked for my mushroom risotto recipe because I'm quite excited to share it today! I started making risotto when I was at uni because it was cheap and easy, I ate so much of it that I went off it for a long time after I graduated. But when I saw these beautiful mushrooms in Broadway Market, risotto was the only thing that really made sense! So now it's back in my life and I can't believe I ever let it go. Here's the recipe, it's really easy:

1 :: punnet of wild mushrooms cut into big 'ol chunks. I got mine from Sporeboys in Broadway Market and they're the best I've ever had!

1 :: litre of chicken stock, homemade is best! And it's helpful if it's warm but it doesn't have to be.

1 :: bag of arborio risotto rice, I don't usually end up using the whole thing but you can if you have a big enough pot! 3/4ths of a bag cooks comfortably in a wok.

1 :: diced onion

1/2 :: a bottle of dry white wine

3 :: handfuls of grated parmesean

1 :: packet of bacon bits, or lardons but really that's such an awful word, isn't it?

1 :: rather large knob of butter

1 :: bunch of ripped up basil, as much or as little as you like

1 :: pinch of salt and pepper if you like, my chicken stock is already quite salty so I don't usually add anything.

step one :: start of by cooking the bacon bits in a small saucepan on a low heat. I cook mine until they're crispy.

step two :: while the bacon bits are cooking, melt the knob of butter in a very large pan or wok, then add the onions and brown a little.

step three :: add the risotto rice and mix together for a few minutes until the rice goes a little translucent.

step four :: add the white wine and keep stirring until it's all soaked up into the rice.

step five :: ladle chicken stock into the rice little by little, letting each bit added soak up before you add the next - this can take a long time!

step six :: once you get to the end of your litre of stock, before the last four or so ladles are added, add the chopped mushrooms and keep stirring.

step seven :: keep tasting your risotto to see if it's cooked enough, or al dente - which is the way I like it. But if you run out of stock before it's fully cooked, just add half-ladles of boiling water.

Once your risotto is cooked to your satisfaction, spoon it into bowls and sprinkle liberally with basil, parmesean and bacon bits. Serve and share with friends while it's still steaming - and enjoy! It's pretty delicious, and it's even better if you have some freshly baked bread with salty butter or even a little truffle oil if you're feeling in the mood for something decadent.

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