While spending New Year in Brazil, Great British Chefs blogger Rosana McPhee from Hot & Chili thought she would make her first meal of the year one from her favourite chefs Theo Randall. She saw he had a recipe for chestnut in risotto in our Feastive app. Let’s discover how she got on.
All photography by Rosana McPhee
I´ve been to Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel and I really enjoyed meeting him and eating his rustic Italian food and Pasta from his cookbook. When I saw this recipe for Chestnut Risotto on the Great British Chefs Feastive app, I was intrigued as it sounded similar to farofa a Brazilian side dish made using cassava root coarse flour, lamb, chicken, seafood, nuts and dried fruits and of course plenty of sweet treats.
While I was holidaying in Brazil I thought the ingredients should be easy to find. The cooked chestnuts, the main ingredient in App, also made me eager to try it as part of our first meal of the year in Brazil, where is traditional to have a feast after the midnight celebratory fireworks.
This was my second attempt to cook from this app in foreign soil (I made Marcus Wareing’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake just before Christmas). The recipe is described as a starter, but as we were having an informal help-yourself kind of meal, so I prepared it as a side dish. We had a mix of dishes at the table including some Brazilian chillies, this dish, were bought ready to use in a jar at the local supermarket, a bit expensive, but worth it.
Here is the result: a deliciously creamy risotto, the salty bacon flavors the rice and the chestnut adds a bit of crunchiness and a slight sweetness to this dish. It’s easy to prepare. Just add the stock, one ladle at the time, and this dish comes to life within 30 mins.
Serve immediately once is ready, it should have a creamy texture. Even though this is a wintery dish, it went down a storm under the Brazilian High Summer. What a great start of the year!
0.5 red onion, chopped
0.5 celery stick, chopped
75g of pancetta, cubed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tbsp of olive oil
200g Arborio risotto rice
800 ml of chicken stock
100g of chestnuts, cooked, peeled and finely chopped
50ml of Brandy
75g of unsalted butter
100g of grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
- Soften the onion, celery, pancetta and rosemary in olive oil over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the risotto rice and cook for 5 minutes
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a separate pan. Add to the rice pan, ladle by ladle, stirring continuously for 15 minutes
- Make sure that each bath of stock is absorbed before adding the next. When all the stock has been added, add the chestnuts with the brandy
- Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the rice has a bite but no crunch. It´s al dente. Add in the butter, Parmesan and some black pepper. Serve immediately.
What’s your favourite one pot winter recipe? We’ll be discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.