Mushroom & Ham Risotto

This is a truly wintery risotto and one that's fantastic to have up your sleeve for festive entertaining of big and little people. My daughter is more than a little hesitant to try mushrooms at the moment but unsurprisingly she wolfed some of the leftover risotto once I'd balled, breaded and fried as arancini for pre-dinner nibbles- but who can blame her- no one in their right mind would turn down arancini!!!

[Note: just leave out the ham for a veggie version]

BLW Tip: blitz the cooked risotto down for 30 seconds and mould into small balls for little hands to grab hold of.

Serves 2 adults and 1-2 small children


50g butter

150g arborio rice

1 small onion, finely diced

10g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 150ml boiling water for 20 minutes

500ml vegetable stock

50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

50g pulled ham hock or good quality ham cut into dice

for the roasted mushrooms:

250g chestnut mushrooms

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

4 sage leaves, finely sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp salt, optional

freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Combine the ingredients for the roasted mushrooms in a bowl and then spread in a thin layer over the baking tray. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan on the heat and melt 30g butter before adding the rice and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes. In a food processor, blitz together the soaked mushrooms, their liquor and the vegetable stock and once combined add to the rice/onion mix and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes- [Note: make sure the heat is not too high otherwise the liquid will evaporate too quickly.]

After 20-25 minutes of the rice cooking, add the parmesan, remaining 20g butter, lemon zest and juice, the roasted mushrooms and ham. Stir through and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes to allow everything to melt in. Serve immediately with plenty of extra Parmesan.

if preparing ahead: place the cooked rice in a container and chill immediately. 

for adults and older children: add 1/2 tsp salt  to the final risotto