I think risotto is a bit tricky. I like the wet, gloopy texture and the warm, rich flavour, but I am never sure what to put in there. Often the recipes that I find are a bit overdone, distracting you from the actual jumminess of the rice and the stock that has gone in there; or they need side-dishes, while I think that you’re busy enough with cooking the risotto. The two variants on my blog, chicken risotto and salmon risotto, are actually the two kinds of risotto that I make.
Until I found this recipe…. It is called breakfast risotto, because you can eat it in the morning and has bacon and egg, but it works perfectly for diner as well. I learned that leek works perfectly in risotto, it emphasizes the sweetness and almost disappears in the risotto. The bacon gives it a nice savoury crunch. And the egg adds even more creaminess than risotto already has of itself, and gives it just that little extra so that the risotto is a complete meal. And they are all ingredients that I like a lot and that are quite cheap.
Even though it is quite some work, I will definitely make this again. It is just so delicious, I think this is my new favourite risotto….
Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto (4 large servings)
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1.5 L good chicken stock (plus a bit extra to loosen it up a bit more if necessary, you never know with risotto)
125 g bacon, in lardons (cubes/strips)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, washed and sliced thinly
3 tbsp butter, plus more to fry eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
350 g arborio, carnaroli, or another short-grained Italian rice
1 glass white wine
1 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and black pepper
Heat stock over low heat. Heat a large pan or skillet. Fry the bacon until it renders its fat and is crisp. Remove and set aside. Then cook the leeks in the bacon fat until soft. Set aside as well.
Cook onion in butter until translucent and soft. Add rice and sauté until slightly toasted. Add wine and cook until it is absorbed by the rice. Add a few ladles of hot stock into the rice mixture and simmer until it absorbs, stirring frequently. Add remaining stock spoon for spoon, allowing the stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently (it tends to stick when it gets drier) until rice is cooked, about 25 to 30 minutes. It should be creamy and loose. When ladled onto a plate, it should spill into a creamy puddle, not heap in a mound. When cooked, stir in the cheese, bacon and leeks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls.
Then, bake the eggs, season with salt (optional: pepper) and transfer to the risotto. Garnish each with an extra bit of grated parmesan and eat immediately.