Can I get some tips for Risotto?

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Hello. I made a pretty honest attempt at Risotto tonight. My wife and mother in law were grateful for the effort, but there's definitely room for improvement. I was hoping I could run the method/ingredients by you guys and see if I could get some pointers.

First I brought four cups of chicken bone broth to a near boil and left it simmering in a pot.
Then grabbed a medium size pan with extra virgin olive oil and turned on medium high heat.
Added one cup of white arborio rice. Let it sit in the hot oil for a sec until it warmed up and started smelling starchy.
Added salt, pepper, one finely chopped shallot, 2 sprigs of Taragon (leaves only) 1 tbsp of butter, and 2 finely chopped elephant garlic cloves and mixed.
As soon as they started to caramelize, I added 1.5 tbsp of white wine and let it the alcohol burn out
Then added a ladle of hot chicken stock into the rice and put in Shiitake mushrooms. Continued to do add chicken stock one ladle at a time for about another 15 min until it was the consistency it needed to be and the rice was perfectly cooked.
Added a 1.5 tbsp of heavy creme just before the very end and garnished with a small bit pecorino romano cheese.

Is there anything a lowly humble home cook can do to elevate the flavors here a little? Let me know! Thanks :)
 

pete

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You don't mention it, but I assume that you are stirring your risotto the whole time. I always finish mine with a good amount of cheese. One thing you might want to consider, if you are adding mushrooms, anyway, is to bump the flavor of your stock by re-hydrating dried mushrooms in it. You can then chop and add those mushrooms to your risotto and you have added considerable flavor to your stock, which will in turn, add more flavor to your risotto.
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2018
I assume that you are stirring your risotto the whole time.
Certainly was :)
I always finish mine with a good amount of cheese.
What kind?
bump the flavor of your stock by re-hydrating dried mushrooms in it.
I was starting with fresh mushrooms...will this still work?

Hey...is it normal for bone broth to be a little musky and sort of stinky when it get poured out of the carton? Its a lot of the crazy amazing flavor you get in a superb Italian restaurant coming from an more amazing stock to begin with?

Thank you SO much for your thoughts on this and taking the time to look it over. Much appreciated!
 

pete

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I usually use parmesan because that is what I usually have lying around.

I realize that you are using fresh mushrooms. Just saying that an easy way to add a lot of flavor is to rehydrate some dried in stock before using the stock.
 
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I realize that you are using fresh mushrooms. Just saying that an easy way to add a lot of flavor is to rehydrate some dried in stock before using the stock.

Ah! Gotcha. What kinds of dried mushrooms do you recommend? I believe I'm asking for the type?/species?/breed? of mushroom :)
 
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Any kind of dried mushroom, I have all kinds. Porcini is a MUST. Arborio rice is nice but carnaroli is even better.

There are many things you can do to make this dish better. The shallots should sweat before the rice goes in. Heavy cream... well there's no law against it but Italian grandmothers are rolling in their graves just knowing that you did that. The creaminess you crave comes from the starch that is hand churned as you stir, mixing with the stock.

I learned how to make risotto from Jamie Oliver, this is THE best recipe for mushroom risotto that I have ever tasted. The video goes by too fast but read the recipe carefully and follow it to the letter. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/grilled-mushroom-risotto/ It makes a world of difference. And if you can check out the Jamie at Home videos and get the book that goes with it you'll love it. It taught me so much. The thing I realized with Jamie is that he adds little things at the end. It seems excessive when you first think about it (lemon in the mushrooms? More butter on top? An extra drizzle of olive oil?) But once you taste it it makes total sense.
 
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I'm no risotto expert, but I think you usually start by sweating the shallots, then add rice and cook until lightly toasty, and only then start adding stock.

Stock should not smell "funky." It should breathe the pure air of its principal ingredient. Based on all you have said here, I'd say you need to start making your own stock if you want to improve your stewed dishes (e.g., risotto).
 
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Added one cup of white arborio rice. Let it sit in the hot oil for a sec until it warmed up and started smelling starchy.
Added salt, pepper, one finely chopped shallot, 2 sprigs of Taragon (leaves only) 1 tbsp of butter, and 2 finely chopped elephant garlic cloves and mixed.

The way I do it is there is a fair bit of stirring and cooking the rice before adding all the other stuff, on the order of 6, 7 minutes. When doing mushroom risotto I use beef stock. One of the best I've ever done was lobster, where I stirred in about a quarter cup freshly made bearnaise into it instead of butter at the finish.

mjb.
 
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Joined Feb 24, 2015
The way I do it is there is a fair bit of stirring and cooking the rice before adding all the other stuff, on the order of 6, 7 minutes. When doing mushroom risotto I use beef stock. One of the best I've ever done was lobster, where I stirred in about a quarter cup freshly made bearnaise into it instead of butter at the finish.

mjb.
I just got hungry again :)
 
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Yes - swear the shallots first
Absolutely agree with the dried mushroom - for me, I don’t even chop them up afterwards - I use them for other dishes
Having them rehydrate in the stock gives enough mushroom flavor - in my humble opinion
When we serve mushroom risotto - I rehydrate some porcini mushrooms in the stock and add, on top of the finished risotto some sautéed enoki mushrooms (remark - I do work in Asia, not sure if Enoki will be liked as much outside of Asia....)

In regards to the heavy cream - hmmm
Having learnt risotto from my grandmother (originally) who is Italian - yes - there is no written rule, but in my nonna’s Kitchen she would have kicked it out hehe

Maybe add a little bit more butter?
More butter more flavor :)
 
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