What better combination for risotto than mushroom and leeks! This perfect risotto is creamy without the need of cream. It surprises many people who have a real risotto that there is no cream! The creaminess and velvety texture comes from the technique and way the rice is cooked. It is cooked by slowly adding liquid and constantly mixed with a wooden spoon. You start by adding only 1 small ladle of liquid and cook until it is absorbed before adding more. You know the rice is cooked when it is al dente. The hallmark of a mastered risotto is being able to still see that small white spec at the center. If it is not there, the rice is overcooked.
The type of rice is critical for risotto. You may find ‘risotto rice’ at the store but this is probably a marked up price for Arborio rice. This is really the only rice that will work for risotto.
Why do I cook the mushrooms separately? If you add them during the cooking of the rice, they will get rubbery and lose a lot of their flavor and wonderful texture we worked so hard to make when sautéing.
I do think beef broth adds the complexity you want with the mushrooms, but if you are vegan or vegetarian you can substitute for a mushroom broth or vegetable broth in a pinch.
Mushroom and Leek Risotto
Creamy risotto with leeks and sautéed mushroom
Clean and cut/tear your mushrooms. Add to a skillet placed over high heat and a tablespoon of oil. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until very browned. Add 1/4 cup white wine and a tablespoon of butter. Mix to combine. Add dried thyme and set aside.
Prepare the Risotto
Bring the stock to a simmer.
Wash and cut the leek. Place cut leeks into a bowl and rinse to ensure all the sand and dirt is removed. Add leek, onion and a tablespoon of olive oil to a pot over medium-low heat. Cook until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the rice and mix, coating it in the olive oil. After a minute add 1/4 cup wine. Constantly stir and add one ladle of stock at a time, waiting to add the next ladle until the previous one has been absorbed. Continue for roughly 20 minutes. Once rice is done turn off the heat, add parmesan, 1 tabespoon of butter and mushrooms. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. During this 5 minutes to not lift the lid.
Mix and serve with more cheese and a drizzle of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Be careful not to add too much stock. The rice should be al dente. See notes above.