Red wine, bacon and tarragon risotto


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This highly inauthentic but highly tasty risotto recipe is inspired by the French stew Coq au vin. We use the traditional ingredients of the stew (bacon lardons, onion, celery, leek and button mushrooms) for the base of the risotto and cook it using red wine instead of the usual white. A fresh, grassy, aniseed hit of tarragon finishes off the risotto perfectly, making this a recipe we're sure you'll keep returning to.

If by any chance you have leftovers, it makes the most delicious stuffing for a roast chicken!




Place a large pan over a medium heat and fry off the bacon lardons in a teaspoon of vegetable oil. The lardons may release some water; wait until this cooks off and the lardons begin to colour and crisp
Add the onion, celery, leek and garlic with a pinch of salt and sweat down for about 8 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not starting to colour
Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until the rice starts to toast a little
Add the red wine with the mushrooms and 2 sprigs of tarragon and leave to simmer and reduce whilst stirring regularly
Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the warm chicken stock, a ladle at a time, letting the rice absorb each spoonful of stock before adding the next. Stir regularly to release the starch from the rice, as this is what gives you a creamy risotto
You may not need all the stock, or you may need a little more – keep tasting the rice so you know when it is cooked. Once you are happy with the texture, take off the heat and beat in the butter and Parmesan, then leave to sit with a lid on for 5 minutes
Pick out the stalks from the tarragon before serving, then garnish with fresh tarragon leaves and serve
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