My Pop’s Mushroom Risotto

I think the first time I ever had risotto was at my friend Charlotte’s house and I must have been about 15. Never once had I come across this dish within the bosom of my own, otherwise very ‘foody’ family. Actually I’ll retract that – we did get something called risotto a couple of times for tea but it definitely wasn’t the same thing – basmati rice with peas and chopped up bits of bacon in it does not count as proper risotto.

So about 5 years ago my Pop suddenly ‘discovered’ risotto and since then has ordered it every time he has seen it on the menu in a restaurant and has hailed it as one of the great mysteries of the culinary world. I should clarify at this point that my father is a good cook. An extremely good cook in fact. But it wasn’t until Sunday night last weekend that he attempted his first risotto. Not only did me and every one of my siblings get a phone call to announce that this monumental event was going to take place but most of us got one while he was cooking as well: “I’ve been stirring the bloody thing for 20 minutes and the rice STILL isn’t cooked”. “Yes Pop, it does take about 35 minutes of constant stirring to make risotto.” “WHAT!! I’m not going to stand here stirring for THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES!!” But he did, and having been treated to the (much calmer) second attempt on Saturday night this weekend, it was well worth the effort…  Continue reading…