So, let’s start with a disclaimer. I’m very hot on disclaimers.
The photo on top is just a teaser. It is a real risotto, no doubt made with arborio rice, which most people who have had the foresight to go to Crawford Market or to order online would have in the house.
With no such planning, and sheer laziness in play, my faux risotto uses regular long grain rice, regular button mushrooms, no cheese (remember, I’m married to a lactose-intolerant man) and an odd mix of wine. I used the remnants of a bottle of cheap and cheerful Dia white, supplemented with some Dia red, and, of course, I drank the rest of the Dia red with dinner…
We waste nothing.
I did, I confess, make a detour to buy bacon, but I would do many things for bacon, anyway.
There is a proof-of-life/pudding/making photo at the bottom of this post; it looks nothing like the fancy-ish risotto on the top, but it is a real hug in a bowl.
This weeknight dinner is inspired by this Tasty video, which you should totally follow if you have all the nice ingredients at hand...
Faux Bacon and Mushroom Risotto
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
5 rashers bacon, chopped
200 g button mushrooms, sliced
1½ cups rice
½ to 1 cup white wine
5 to 7 cups hot stock (I made this with two chicken cubes [see notes below], keep hot on a low flame throughout)
Butter to glaze (optional)
Chopped parsley to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large wok or pan.
Add the sliced onion and fry till soft and pinkish.
Add the chopped bacon and fry till almost crisp.
Add the sliced mushrooms and fry for about three minutes, till they absorb all the goodness of the bacon fat.
Add the rice (you don’t wash arborio; I washed this long grain rice as usual) and fry till glistening with the oil in the pan.
Add the wine and allow to bubble nicely.
Add a ladle of the hot stock, and allow it to be absorbed by the rice.
Reduce heat to medium, and keep adding cupfuls of hot stock, one at a time, waiting between additions for the stock to be almost completely absorbed by the rice.
Your faux risotto is ready when the rice is cooked to your liking.
Add a few dabs of butter to give it a nice shine, but this is optional.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.
- It is traditional to add grated Parmesan to a risotto, and so you could - half cup grated just after the rice is ready.
- Be careful with salt. Chicken stock cubes can be sodium-heavy. Parmesan, if you add it, could also make this very salty. I used plain hot water in place of stock towards the end of cooking.
- I like a bit of bite in my comfort food, so my Tabasco sauce was in use while I ate too.
Main photo: Rafalstachura/123RF