Risotto and I have a long history together. A history of me not making it for a long time. The first time I made it I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The recipe I tried was missing a few important tips that can help speed up the process. “Stir continuously? Is this broth ever going to absorb?”! Below is a picture tutorial showing you how simple and fool-proof this recipe is (with vegan or vegetarian option) so you can make perfect, easy mushroom risotto.
For mushroom risotto, you need to sauté the mushrooms and set them aside first. See my dry sauté tutorial to get these your cremini or baby bellas browned and ready in a snap.
The secret to quick, perfect risotto is to heat your broth before adding to the rice. Here I’m just starting to sauté my mushrooms and the broth his heating to almost a simmer on medium heat. Update: If you prefer, pour your broth into a glass measure and heat in the microwave until hot. This method eliminates getting an extra pan dirty, but you need to keep putting the measuring cup back into the microwave in-between adding to your risotto. Remember, keep the liquid hot to help with quick absorption.
See how the mushrooms are starting to give off moisture and brown. I didn’t add any liquid, oil or butter. They just naturally start to “sweat”. You should use either a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet. (If you have both cast iron and non-stick, the cast iron provides the better result.)
After the mushrooms have released their moisture and it has evaporated completely, transfer to a plate, sauté the shallots in olive oil over medium heat.
When shallots are soft, add the Arborio rice and stir to combine for a few minutes. Then add white wine. I have used apple juice with perfect results.
Cook over medium heat until all the wine has been absorbed.
Increase heat to medium-high and start to add the broth. Approximately 3/4 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb each addition before adding another. Stir frequently.
After my first addition of broth has absorbed…
And this is right after the last addition of broth. The rice has been swelling and it takes just a bit longer for broth to absorb at this point. You don’t have to stir at a constant pace, but be conscientious to prevent rice from sticking as the broth is absorbed. (In other words, you can’t walk away from the stove and let it simmer.) The total cooking time, not including the mushroom sauté, is 20-25 minutes. If you increase or double the recipe, it naturally will take longer.
And here after all 6 cups of broth are added and absorbed. Turn off the heat.
And here it is with the added butter and parmesan. I hope the pictorial helps. Now go make it because this is love! Cook’s note: you can substitute Arborio rice with other short grain, like sweet brown rice if you must. Do not use a long grain rice. Arborio is successful with a short grain because of the way it releases the starches. The short grain rice produces a creaminess and rich texture consistent with risotto.
Perfect Mushroom Risotto
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 1 to 2 pounds mushrooms of your choice, I used cremini or baby bellas
- 2-3 shallots, roughly diced
- 1 ½ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine or apple juice
- 3 tablespoons parsley of your choice or chives, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, more or less to taste
- In a saucepan, warm the broth over medium heat.
- Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet to high heat. Add mushrooms to dry skillet and stir as the mushrooms release their juices. Turn heat to medium-high and continue to stir until juice starts to be absorbed and mushrooms are browned. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and continue cooking until the rest of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Stir in the shallots. Cook about 1 minute or until shallots begin to soften. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.
- Return heat to medium-high and using a mug or measuring cup add between ½-¾ cup broth to the rice (I added ¾ cup), and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the hot broth one scoopful at a time, stirring continuously, making sure the liquid becomes absorbed before adding more broth. When you've got almost all the broth added, begin turning the heat down to medium if necessary. After about 20 minutes or so, the rice will be al dente.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. (At this point, if you want a vegan meal, this is done and perfectly tasty.)
- Add the butter, parsley or chives and parmesan.