Though this recipe for ham and mushroom risotto gets a little unconventional at times, the finished result is delicious, which was just as much of a surprise to us as it probably will be to you. Classic Italian risotto usually incorporates a glass or two of white wine, but this recipe uses just under a wine glass of lager (Miller to be exact). While Pavarotti is probably turning in his grave at the very thought of it (we miss you big feller), it somehow works amazingly, so give it a try and let us know what you think.
Ham and mushroom risotto ingredients (serves 2):
• 100g prosciutto ham, sliced into strips
• 80g small cup mushrooms
• 2 garlic cloves (chopped finely)
• 1 small onion (chopped into small chunks)
• 1 green pepper sliced into chunks (ideally just on the cusp between agreen pepper and a yellow/orange pepper)
• 1 table spoon basil (fresh or dried)
• A small wine glass of lager (Miller is a proven hit)
• ½ table spoon butter
• ½ table spoon olive oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 2 cups risotto rice (Arborio works well)
• 50g Parmesan cheese (cheddar works well too, especially the mature variety)
• Salt and pepper
Ham and mushroom risotto recipe:
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, deep frying pan and slowly cook the onion until clear.
2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and pepper and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
3. Add the prosciutto ham and stir for a few seconds to heat up.
4. Pour in the risotto rice and warm in the oil until well coated, while giving it all a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cooking the rice in oil at the beginning helps to crack the surface of the grains, which makes them more absorbent when you move on to the stock stage of the recipe.
5. Stir in a little of the stock, the basil and the glass of lager and simmer over a low/medium heat.
6. The key to getting a really nice and creamy risotto is stirring it for all you’re worth. Continue adding a little of the stock once the previous batch absorbs and keep stirring it over the heat like you’re whipping up an Angel Delight of epic proportions.
7. You’ll need some stamina to push on through for 20-25 mins, but the results will be epic.
8. Add the Parmesan cheese as the final step, stir in and serve.
For anyone not quite sure that they want to try this ham and mushroom risotto recipe with lager, all we can say is, go on, give it a bash. It really is ace. However, traditionalists can always sub the beer out for the usual glass of white wine if they want.