Bacon, Leek and Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, thoroughly cleaned and sliced
  • 250g (about 8 oz) mushrooms, sliced (your choice of varieties – button, cremini, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5-6 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Prep and Crisp the Bacon:

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crispy.
  • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Sauté the Vegetables:

  • Add the olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to the pot still containing a bit of bacon fat.
  • Add the leeks and mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until softened and lightly browned. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Toast the Rice:

  • Add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir to coat with the vegetables and fat. Cook for about 1 minute, until the grains are slightly translucent.

Deglaze and Simmer:

  • Pour in the white wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine is mostly absorbed.
  • Add one ladleful of hot broth to the rice and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Continue adding broth, a ladleful at a time, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take about 20-25 minutes.

Finish and Serve:

  • When the rice is tender but still has a slight bite to it (al dente), remove the pot from the heat.
  • Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, Parmesan cheese, most of the crispy bacon (reserve a bit for garnish), and the chopped parsley.
  • Season well with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining bacon and additional Parmesan if desired.

Tips:

  • Warm Broth: It’s crucial to use hot broth to keep the cooking process consistent and prevent shocking the rice.
  • Types of Mushrooms: Get creative! Mix in shiitake, oyster, or other wild varieties for extra flavor.
  • Creamy Finish: For an even richer risotto, stir in a splash of heavy cream at the end along with the Parmesan.
  • Make-Ahead Option: Prepare the risotto up to the point before adding the broth. Store the rice mixture separately. When ready to serve, reheat everything and start adding your hot broth.

Enjoy your delicious and satisfying Bacon, Leek, and Mushroom Risotto!

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