This is a browned butter, chestnut, sage and wild mushroom risotto with a cafe au lait cream folded through.


  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped (oyster, porcini, shitake etc)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mushrooms
  • 8 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 espresso shot/ 2 teaspoons strong coffee with 2 table spoons hot water to dissolve
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 table spoons oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 table spoons butter
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped chestnuts


  1. Add a table spoon of oil to a pan, then your butter. Let it melt and sizzle until the foam turns a light brown. Put the pan to one side to cool slightly.
  2. In another sauce pan add a table spoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic, as well as the water. After the water has evaporated, add the wine. Let the wine reduce by half and by this stage, the onions should be translucent. Take it off the heat.
  3. The butter should now be cooler. Add the chestnuts and sage to the browned butter. Turn the heat back on and coat the chestnuts and sage in the butter. Once the chestnuts and sage have browned slightly, put them, along with the butter in a bowl, and place to one side. You will use this pan again to cook the rice, so no need to wash it.
  4. You can now turn your attention back to the saucepan with your onions. Add the mushrooms (dry included), cream and espresso. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. It may need a pinch of salt, keep tasting your dish and flavour accordingly. Once this mixture is beautifully rich in colour and fragrance, you can take it off the heat. Do not be afraid to add the coffee, it gives a decedent flavour to the dish, as well as brings out the essence of the mushrooms. You will not actually to be able to taste coffee at the end.
  5. Turn your attention back to the pan that was used to brown the butter. Add the rice. Toss it about and coat it in the left-over butter residue. Keep your heat to medium and ladle in 1 cup of stock at a time. When the rice has absorbed it, add another cup. Keep going until you have used all the liquid. Taste the rice to ensure that it is soft, but has the slightest hint of a bite. You do not want the end result to be the texture of soggy porridge. If you need to add in a little more liquid, you can do so.
  6. Now that the rice is done, add the butter mixture and the creamy mushrooms. Fold this all through and taste to see if you need to add more salt.
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and a crack of black pepper.

The coffee gives a rich umami taste to the dish. The earthy nature of the sage should come through and the various mushrooms should sing with all the flavours. The browned butter adds a further creaminess, as well as charred caramelised notes.

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