I can’t make risotto. I know how to make it, I’m just missing some kind of key risotto-making gene which means whenever I try to make risotto, no matter how much time I take slowly pouring in the stock and patiently stirring for three weeks (or however long it is; it feels like three weeks, anyway), the rice ends up as nasty crunchy bullets. Maybe the rice knows I’m not patient by nature and can feel the hate and resentment when I’m standing there relentlessly stirring instead of doing something far more pleasurable such as, say, emptying the cat litter tray or hanging up my washing.
So, why I decided to give risotto another go, I don’t know but, instead of the stirring-for-three-weeks-on-the-hob method, I had a look for a slow cooker recipe (although, for someone who can’t be arsed to stand around stirring things, I certainly lift the slow cooker lid plenty of times to give the contents a good stir) and found this one.
Usually when I use my slow cooker, I don’t bother with any pre-cooking malarky and just chuck everything in but, given my history with risotto-making, I thought I’d better give it a decent shot at turning out okay and followed the instructions, only deviating by adding garlic as there was no garlic in the original recipe, which led to a ‘what do you mean there’s no garlic in this recipe?’ moment. I mean, how can you have onions and mushrooms in something but no garlic? Crazy.
I’d like to say this risotto turned out perfectly, but I’d be lying. It was certainly tasty and definitely un-bullet-like but it was a tad stodgy and ‘wallpaper paste’ and ‘sticks to your ribs’ wouldn’t be unfair descriptions. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a disaster and I’d make it again and, if you give it a go, it’ll probably turn out perfectly. I just think risotto and I aren’t meant to be.
- 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 200g Arborio risotto rice
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 30g butter
- 225g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 30g vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, grated
- Heat the oil and add the onion and cook for 4 – 5 mins until soft.
- Add the rice and stir through so all grains are coated and cook for 2 mins.
- Transfer the rice and onion to the slow cooker and cover with the stock.
- Melt the butter in a pan and cook the sliced mushrooms for about 10 mins or until they have browned.
- Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for another minute or so.
- Stir the mushrooms into the rice and cook for 2 – 3 hours on low.
- Stir in the vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese in the last 5 minutes.