Mushroom Risotto With Truffle Butter
It’s wild mushroom time again and pine mushrooms and slippery jacks provide perfect flavour and texture for a risotto. But if you want to raise the bar another notch, a mushroom risotto finished with some truffle butter can add a wonderful extra dimension to your mushroom taste experience. Truffle butter is subtle, adding that special flavour of truffles without the over dominant, often lingering flavour, of truffle oil. And with truffle butter you actually get the real deal, bits of truffle. King Valley Dairy, formerly the Myrtleford Butter Factory, I think make the best cultured butter in Australia. It has a lovely fresh tang, without any unpleasant cheesy or rancidness I have found with other brands. They also produce a range of Fancy Butter with various interesting flavours like smoked salt but the black truffle butter is a clear winner and perfect for risotto, pasta, mashed potatoes or smothered on a piece of rib eye steak. King Valley Dairy is concentrating on expanding wholesale production, so while there are not a lot of stockists in Melbourne as yet this should improve. Try Obelix and Co in North Fitzroy, Prahran and Queen Victoria markets, shop online or stop at the dairy while in Moyhu, it’s a stunning drive to the King Valley taking the Mansfield-Whitfield road. Buy up big and freeze the butter in small lots if you don’t think you are going to use it all by the expiry date.
- 1 cup carnaroli rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 litre chicken stock
- knob of butter
- leaves of 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 300 g pine mushrooms
- 200 g mix of shimeji, shiitake and nameko mushrooms, sliced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1-2 tsp truffle butter (King Valley Diary)
- 3 tsp butter
- 50 g grated Paramasan cheese
Clean and then blanch the pine mushrooms in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on kitchen paper to dry. Slice the mushrooms. Warm the stock in a small saucepan and keep it on a simmer while you cook the risotto. Melt a small knob of butter in a sauté pan (or whatever pot or pan you like to use for risotto) and gently cook the chopped shallots for a minute or so until soft and translucent. Add the thyme, garlic, sliced pine mushrooms and sautéed for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium, add the rice and stir to coat in the butter; after a minute or so when the grains show a slight translucence, pour in a glass of wine. Keep the heat up to bring the wine to a rapid simmer and reduce. When almost evaporated, add a ladle or two of hot stock, swirl the pan and allow to simmer gently until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Add the sliced shiitake. Keep adding ladles of stock and occasionally swirling the pan until the rice is cooked to al dente, with just a fine thread of chalky white in the middle of the rice grains while a slightly thickened, starchy liquid surrounds them. All up, it will take 15 to 20 minutes to cook. In the last 5 minutes add the softer mushroom, the shimeji and nameko. Turn off the heat, add the grated Parmesan and the truffle and plain butters and stir them in gently so as to amalgamate with and thicken the remaining starchy liquid without breaking up the rice grains. Loosen the risotto with a little stock if needed; it should be creamy without the grains sticking to each other. Serve immediately.