This is a rice ball made from this risotto, with a cube of mozzarella in the middle. It is breaded, deep fried and it is one of my favourites. I tell you this because every time I make arancinis I have to make this risotto first, and that is, well, awesome. I love everything about this dish, the colour, the smell, the texture and of course, the taste. When I am done cooking it, I usually have to let it cool so that I can handle it more easily, so I leave it on the counter to come to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. During that time, I make return tasting trips to the bowl because it is just so addictive! At the end of the night, there is a collection of forks in the sink and half of the original amount left in the bowl. Thank goodness I always make double what I need!
2 – 3 cups veal stock (or beef if veal is not available)
1/2 lb. Bacon (cut into lardons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion (finely chopped)
2 cups mixed wild mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Montreal steak spice to taste
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons truffle oil (optional)
For the risotto
Heat the stock and keep it hot on the back burner until ready to use.
In a large pot, heat butter with bacon and cook until crispy and brown. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and reserve, making sure to keep the fat in the pot.
Sauté the onion and mushrooms in the bacon fat until slightly browned, add the rice and garlic, and toast until the rice smells nutty and starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
Deglaze the pot with white wine and over medium heat, stirring frequently, reduce the liquid until the pot is almost dry. Add in the herbs.
Slowly add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring gently but constantly. Wait until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before flooding the pot with more stock. The process should take you 30 – 45 minutes and you could have some stock left.
Check the rice for doneness. It should be “Al Dente” meaning slightly firm, but tender.
Off the heat, add in the butter, parmesan, truffle oil and season to your taste. Fold everything together until the butter and cheese is thoroughly incorporated. Serve immediately in shallow bowls with a sprinkling of the reserved bacon bits.