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September 28, 2007 / Tony

Red Wine Risotto with Mushroom “Marmalade”

I made an incredible vegetarian dish last night.  It was a risotto made with red wine instead of the traditional white topped with deeply flavored mushrooms glazed in red wine.  There are two very interesting things about this recipe: 1) It uses red wine instead of white and 2) It asks you to caramelize a little bit of sugar for the marmalade.  These two twists give this recipe a unique and absolutely fabulous flavor. 

First, about the wine: by using red wine, the wine flavor in the finished risotto was much stronger and fruitier.  In fact, it was vying with the chicken stock to be the dominant flavoring of the arborio rice.  And this isn’t a bad thing.  All of those nice wine flavors shone through beautifully and created a brightly flavored dish.  The only funny thing about using red wine is the final dish turns out sort of pink, which to me, just isn’t an appetizing color.

Second, the caramelization:  when making the glaze for the mushroooms, 2 T of sugar is dissolved in 1 T of water and set over medium heat until the mixture turns amber.  This is caramelizing the sugar and releases a multitude of flavors from the sugar.  Obviously, if you like to eat caramel, this is a step that you would enjoy.  Then the wine and vinegar is added and reduced.  The result is a very sweet and very complex glaze that made the mushroom marmalade jump off the plate with flavor.  I can’t tell you how good it was. 

I know this dish takes some time and a lot of dishes but it’s worth the work.  A few notes to help you along: 1) Make sure to garnish the dish with Parmesan or a like cheese; it adds creaminess and balances the dish out.  2)  The recipe says to stir the risotto constantly as you are adding the chicken stock but you can get away with sitrring every minute or so.  3)  Don’t feel compelled to use all of the chicken stock called for in the recipe.  If the rice is done, stop adding chicken stock.  Here’s what it looked like:


And here’s the recipe:

Red Wine Risotto with Mushroom “Marmalade”, from Food and Wine magazine 

For marmalade

3 T vegetable oil

3/4 pound fresh porcini, stemmed shitake, or portabella mushrooms-1/2 lb diced, 1/4 lb sliced

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 T sugar

1 T water

3/4 cup dry red wine, such as Amarone (I used Zinfandel)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 T unsalted butter

For risotto

5 cups chicken stock

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 T unsalted butter

Parmesan cheese for topping

Make the marmalade:  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 T of the vegetable oil.  Add the diced mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, 5 minutes.  Unocver and cook, stirring, until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.

In the same skillet, heat another 1 T vegetable oil.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked mushrooms.

In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush if necessary, until amber, about 6 minutes.  Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the vinegar and boil over high heat until reducedby half, 12 minutes.  Stir the mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are glazed, 3 minutes.  Season with salt.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 T of vegetable oil.  Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.  Stir the mushrooms into the marmalade and swirl in the butter.  Cover and keep warm. 

For the Risotto:  In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm over low heat.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated.  Pour in about 1 cup of the hot stock or enough to cover the rice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Repeat, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed.  The risotto is done when the rice is just cooked and suspended in the creamy sauce, about 25 minutes.  Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. 

Spoon the risotto into bowls and top with the mushroom marmalade.  Shave a few slices of Parmesan cheese over the risotto and serve. 

One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Katelyn / Sep 29 2007 2:38 pm

    yum!! stop teasing me!

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