Make risotto

Make risotto

Patience is the secret ingredient that sets a great risotto apart from a stodgy rice porridge, says Liam Tomlin. Here, the renowned chef shows how it’s done in four easy steps.

Must-have kitchen tools to cook risotto perfectly

  • Two heavy-based saucepans for even heat distribution and consistent cooking temperature
  • A non-stick, heavy-based pan that allows cooking with the minimum amount of oil and even heat distribution.
  • A stainless-steel ladle with a deep bowl for scooping the stock.
  • A wooden spoon for stirring the risotto – a plastic or metal spoon will break the rice grains and change the risotto’s texture.

Here, the renowned chef shows how to make risotto in four easy steps. (Find our full collection of risotto recipes here.)


    1. Bring 1.2 litres good-quality mushroom or chicken stock to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan, then reduce the heat to a simmer. In another large, heavy-based saucepan, melt 50 g unsalted butter, add ½ clove crushed garlic and 100 g finely chopped onion and sweat, without colouring, for 2 minutes. Add 250 g Arborio rice and seal for a further 2 minutes without colouring.

      Step 1

    2. Add 1 ladle of stock and stir it into the rice. Cook, stirring continuously to prevent the rice from sticking. Reduce the heat to a simmer (too much heat will result in boiled rice) and continue to cook until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 ladle at a time, and cook the risotto until al dente – this should take 18 to 20 minutes depending on the amount of risotto you are making.

      Step 2

    3. To finish the risotto, add 50 g chilled, diced unsalted butter and stir into the rice until fully incorporated. Add 50 g grated fresh Parmesan and fold through the risotto, then add 2 T cream, if desired, and stir through. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of truffle oil, if desired.

      Step 3

    4. Sauté 100 g sliced fresh oyster mushrooms and 100 g sliced button mushrooms in 2 T oil and fold through the risotto. Mix in 50 g dried porcini mushrooms that have been soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained. Divide the risotto between warm bowls and top with shaved Parmesan.

      Step 4

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      Helene Van der Merwe
      December 23, 2015

      no short cut?!

    • default
      Helene Van der Merwe
      October 6, 2015

      if only for patience…