Sausage and Mushroom Risotto
As I move through the days, the months, the year, the seasons, I’ve noticed that my body always tells me what I need. These days it’s all citrus juices and earth flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I generally move through my days filling my body with coffee and sugar in various forms, paying very little attention to the little voice inside me crying for baby carrots.
These days my cravings have been undeniable. I want big bowl of warm goodness that make me feel like I have my feet on the ground. This earthy and salty risotto is undeniably grounding, comforting, warm, and otherwise perfect.
This is the first time I’ve made risotto on the stovetop. I’ll walk you through my technique and mild panic.
If the stirring is more than you can handle (no judgement, I get it), you can try this Baked Lemon Risotto. One stir and some quality oven time. A dream, really!
And! For sweeter Arborio rice indulgences: Maple Ginger Rice Pudding. In other words, I’m not leaving my house again until I need to go stock up on more rice. Until then, I’ll have the Do Not Disturb sign on my door. Thaaaanks!
Risotto requires a soundtrack. Something smooth and steady. I went with Sarah Vaughan.
We’ll need Cremini mushrooms, a pound, wiped clean and sliced thick. Garlic and onions, butter and olive oil.
Risotto is about building depth of flavor. Soy sauce added to the stock for its earthy salt. Turkey stock because it’s richer and more round that chicken stock. Fresh thyme for brightness and depth. White wine to deglaze the pan. Parmesan for salty creaminess.
Mushrooms are cooked down with onions and garlic. Mushrooms hold a lot of liquid so we cook them down, losing some of the liquid and intensifying the flavor of the mushrooms. I also love how browned and tender they get.
I removed the sausage from the casing and cooked and crumbled them until extra browned.
All those toasty browned bits… that’s where the flavor lives!
Next up: rice.
Some cooks might remove the cooked mushroom and sausage from the pan whole they stir and hydrate the rice. Removing the mushroom mixture will make the rice easier to stir but… let’s just throw it all together and see what happens.
Now… if we’ve cooked the mushrooms correctly, the bottom of the pan should be coated in a layer of almost burnt bits. White wine added to the hot pan plus a quick stir and stir and stir will bring up all of those browned bits of flavor.
Now we’re all up in the mix.
Simmering hot turkey stock is ladled into the mushroom, sausage and rice. Stir. Stir. Stare and stirred until the liquid is absorbed.
Repeat until most of the stock has been ladled into and absorbed by the rice. About midway through the stirring I had my doubts. Would the rice really absorb the liquid and soften up just right? I was basically doubting every Italian grandmother who has slaved over a pot of risotto. Turns out… it definitely works. Patience is part of it. Patience and faith.
Creamy from a bit of cheese and the starches of the rice. Earthy with mushrooms. Savory with sausage. Full and hearty with turkey stock. Undeniable in every way. Bowl full. Feet on the ground.
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
- 2 - 3 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 uncooked sausage links, filling removed from the casing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- salt and fresh cracked place pepper to taste
- chopped chives, for topping
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together chicken or turkey broth, water, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook sausage in a medium skillet until cooked through and browned.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Stirring often.
- Add the mushrooms and thyme and stir to coat the mushroom in the fat. Allow the mushrooms to cook down, release their liquid, and brown, about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the sausage and rice, stir.
- Add the wine and stir quickly, scraping the bottom of the pan to bring up all of the flavorful brown bits. Allow the wine to cook off and absorb into the rice.
- Ladle the simmering broth mixture into the mushroom, sausage, and rice mixture. About 1/2 to 1 cup at a time. Stir frequently and allow all of the liquid to absorb before ladling in more liquid.
- Continue ladling the broth in until the rice becomes tender, soft and creamy, about 30 minutes.
- You may not need all of the liquid, but it's nice to have.
- Once the rice is creamy and tender, stir in the cheese.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately topped with more cheese and chopped chives. Enjoy!