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Pepper has got to be the most under-appreciated spice in existence. Even though (or perhaps because) we put it into just about everything we barely give it a thought. At least I didn’t – not until we tossed our pepper shaker and replaced it with a pepper mill a few years ago. That’s when I realized how flavorful and complex a piece of freshly cracked black pepper really is. It’s slightly sharp, citrusy, earthy and clove-y and all those flavors are missing completely from pre-ground pepper.
So if you haven’t yet, get yourself a pepper mill! Then, I suggest you make this creamy, flavorful mushrooms risotto and grind some fresh black pepper over it. Enjoy!
Mushroom Risotto with Cracked Black Pepper Recipe
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
- 1/2 cup brown beech mushrooms
- 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (more if desired)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Bring broth to a boil, then turn down the heat to keep the broth at a consistent simmer and put on a lid.
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven.
- Saute the mushrooms on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent (about another 3 minutes).
- Add the rice and stir to get it well coated with the butter.
- Continuing on medium heat, add the wine and stir continuously until almost all of it is absorbed.
- Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and continue to stir until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add another 1/2 cup of broth, and repeat step 7.
- Continue to add hot broth in this fashion until the rice is soft but still a little al dente. (About 20 minutes starting from the initial addition of broth). If you like a stronger white wine flavor and acidity, heat up half a cup of white wine in the microwave and use it instead of broth in one of the additions.
- Take the risotto off the heat and fold in the parmesan.
- Distribute the risotto into bowls and crack some fresh black pepper over it.
- Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the risotto and serve immediately.