Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Truffle

The highlight of our recent truffle dinner was the Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Truffle.  I was very pleased with this dish; it was perhaps the best thing I’ve ever cooked.

The inspiration for this dish came from dinner at Guillaume’s Bennelong restaurant a few months ago.  The risotto was made with a rich mushroom stock, not with pieces of mushroom through it, and the flavour was incredible.  The dish was decadent, creamy, and very rich, but a smoked creme fraiche dollop provided some freshness.  I attempted to replicate this, to a degree and not knowing exactly how Guillaume may have prepared the stock.  Some internet searching turned up a few ideas and I proceeded.

The stock was made using about 1kg of assorted mushrooms – button, Swiss brown, portobello, and a little shiitake (not too much as it can overpower the other mushrooms).  These were simmered with 500mL of white wine, 250mL muscat (sherry would be fine), a few sprigs of thyme, a couple of bay leaves, and a few diced shallots.  This was simmered for a little over an hour, producing a stock of incredible colour and richness.

With the stock made, the rest of the process was fairly classic risotto cooking: sweat off some finely chopped white onion in olive oil, add and coat the arborio rice, throw in a splash of white wine, and then gradually add the (warm) stock a ladle at a time.  I ended up adding in some more wine as the rice soaked up the stock and needed a bit more liquid to cook.  I can’t offer any exact measurements or timings; with risotto, you really need to feel your way there and determine the recipe by taste.

Once the desired al dente taste was reached, a healthy amount of parmesan and butter was added to finish the dish (and seasoned to taste).  It was then served with a dollop of creme fraiche, some chives, and some freshly-shaved truffle.

As I said above, this may be the best dish I’ve ever cooked.  And a wonderful marriage with the fresh Tasmanian truffles.

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