Bacon Tomato Risotto
1L Jar of Stewed/Canned Tomatoes
4-6 cups Homemade Stock (I used venison. Beef or Chicken are good too)
1 pound Bacon (I like thick cut)
1 package Mushrooms (I used mixed)
1 large Onion
2 cups Risotto
1/2 cup Cheddar Shredded (I used 5 Brothers Smoked from Gunn's Hill)
1/2 cup Cream
3 tbsp. Butter (try for grass fed it is way better for you)
Parmesan (For grating on top)
Heat your stock in a small pot so it is steaming but not boiling.
While that is heating, start by chopping the bacon, mushrooms, and onions into 1/2" slices.
Heat up a small pan for the onions and a bigger one for the bacon and eventually the mushrooms.
- Add 1 tbsp of bacon fat (or oil if you don't save bacon fat, but really who wouldn't) to the smaller pan.
Then add the onions and cook until carmelized looking (see photo).
Then pull off the heat and leave until later.
- In the larger pan just put the bacon in.
Once it looks like it is getting close toss the mushrooms in with the bacon.
After another 3-4 minutes pull off the heat and leave for later as well.
Now the fun really begins:
Take the pan with bacon and pour most of the fat into a big pot. I used a stock pot but most larger pasta pots should work. Place it on Med-High heat and add your Risotto grains. Let them heat until you hear some crackling, about 3-4 minutes.
Now you add ladles of the stock into the Risotto pot one at a time and stir until most of the moisture is absorbed, but don't worry too much. You just don't want to dump it all at once, this makes the cooking time faster. It should be about every minute for the first 5 minutes, then you just watch for the bubbles to thicken.
Now once you get it going well and and have done about 10 minutes of this add the jar of tomato sauce slowly, while constantly stirring and let it get back up to heat.
That last part is about another 10 minutes where you continue to slowly add stock. I said in the instructions 4-6 cups and this is why. Sometimes it needs more to soften the grains sometimes it doesn't, it depends on the risotto. So you can start taking a couple out on a spoon and make sure there is no crunch to them at all.
Once you feel the Risotto is ready, you can add 2/3 of the bacon and mushroom into the pot along with the onions.
Then remove from the heat and add the butter, cream, and cheddar, stirring to incorporate well.
Serve it up in a bowl or pasta dish and top with a pinch of the bacon and mushrooms and a shaving of Parmesan.