Thursday, 26 November 2009

Porcini-dusted lamb with cheat's mushroom "risotto"

The first recipe I cooked from 'Faking It' was the porcini-dusted lamb with cheat's mushroom "risotto".  Firstly, the substitutions: I cooked kangaroo steaks, not lamb, as that's what we had, I used a variety of mushrooms, not just swiss brown, I used all stock, no white wine and I used parsley and chives (to serve) rather than rocket.

This is the layout in the book - and definitely supports my earlier comments about the fantastic photos of the final dishes in this book.

The lamb/roo is simple - brush with oil, dust with porcini powder and cook as you like it.  With lamb I would cook it medium to medium-well, but with roo it is better to stay on the medium side, so that's what I did (which meant the thicker steak ended up medium-rare, which G prefers).

The 'cheat' in the title is that the risotto is actually risoni cooked in the absorption method that is usually reserved for rice.  Start by cooking the mushrooms, some garlic and some herbs in the olive oil.  After a few mins add the risoni and liquid (stock in my case) and cook by the absorption method.

After resting the meat for a few minutes I sliced it, and served it on top of the risoni.

I should have sliced the meat more thickly - and then it would have looked more like the picture in the book!

The tomato on the side is home-grown. We are currently minding a neighbour's tomato and herb plants and were told to help ourselves.  Luckily for us a tomato ripened and was absolutely delicious.  I never realised how good home-grown tomatoes could taste, even compared to the decent tomatoes we normally buy at the green grocer.  I just dripped on a little EVO and scattered some chopped chives and parsley.

Verdict on the dish: the risoni was really tasty, though could have done with some more pepper.  The porcini powder on the roo really tied in a deep mushroom flavour and held the 2 parts together.  Definitely would make this again - and the leftover risoni (deliberately cooked too much) was delicious at lunch the next day!

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