Brie and Bacon Risotto
This was an inevitable concoction made from some leftover ingredients in my fridge, as I always find the packs of bacon that I buy have large chunks in plus some scrappy bits, and until I came up with this recipe I was at a loss what to do with them. If in doubt, make leftover bacon scraps into a risotto – or my easy, quick version of risotto, that is. Brie is often considered a ‘posh cheese’ – and perhaps a surprising recommendation on a limited budget, but the value range is extremely inexpensive and still gives a rich flavour and creamy versatility. I find a hunk of Brie far more satisfying for my stomach and my wallet than plain old Cheddar any day.
|1||red or white onion|
|1||chicken stock cube, dissolved in 500ml boiling water|
|A handful||of chopped fresh parsley|
|Optional:||cranberry sauce or apple sauce, to serve|
Chop the bacon into small pieces – approximately 1cm square. Place in a colander and thoroughly rinse under cold water to remove some of the salty taste.
Put the bacon into a shallow frying or sauté pan. Peel and finely chop the onion, and add to the pan. Bring the pan up to a low heat. No additional fat is required: the fat will ‘leak’ from the bacon as it heats slowly, so make the most of it! Soften the onion in the bacon fat and when it’s almost translucent, add the rice and stir in well to coat the edges.
When the ends of the grains of rice have started to turn clear, add half of the stock to the pan and stir in. Let the rice cook and absorb that amount of liquid, then keep adding the remaining stock gradually, a little at a time, as it is absorbed by the rice. You may find that you do not need all of the stock – a good risotto should have a soupy texture, but be slightly al dente.
Just before serving, chop the Brie and stir through until it is mostly melted. Scatter the parsley on top to lift the flavour. If you have any apple or cranberry sauce kicking around in the cupboard, a teaspoon swirled through the risotto would be divine.
Substitute a blue cheese for the Brie – most supermarkets will have a value range Stilton-style cheese for far less than its authentic counterparts but which is still delicious!
Mushrooms work well instead of bacon for a vegetarian alternative, although you’ll need to add a splash of oil when cooking the onion.
Leftover risotto can be eaten the next day, either warmed through, or as a cold rice salad for lunch.