Saturday, August 15, 2009

Red wine and sausage risotto

Hello everyone, I have just returned from three days in Mount Gambier, South Australia, and have two completely different food experiences to relate. (I was very thankful that the second was so different to the first).

On the first night I was there, with the around 60 or so other conference delegates I went to dinner at a local Italian place. My alarm bells had started to ring early as we were informed we were starting with tapas, to be followed by pizza and pasta. Quite a cultural mix, but I guess at least it was all European. For dinner we were presented with quite a wide choice of pizzas and pastas. Frankly none of them really appealed but I picked one and put in my order with everyone else. We then waited, and waited, and waited for our food. No garlic bread or salads to sustain us. Eventually the food started to arrive. I think my neighbour on my right was just finishing hers when my neighbour on my left received her dinner. And lucky me, I just continued to wait! Finally, when everyone else was ordering coffee my pizza arrived. I looked at it, politely thanked the waiter who had brought it to me, then pointed out that in fact it wasn't the pizza I had ordered. Hands on hips she declared "Sweetheart, that's all there is. I suggest you eat it. It will fill you up." Which is just hilarious to be told that in a restaurant! I have laughed my head off every time I have told someone the story. And not only was it the wrong pizza, the base was only half cooked! So, it will be one of my memorable meals but not for the usual reasons!

Thankfully the next nightwas much better. We were treated to a wine tasting at Balnaves of Coonawarra Winery It was lovely. We were welcomed into a beautiful room at the winery which felt like being in someone's very tasteful home, and feasted on delicious cheeses and fruit pastes while tasting various wines. We then moved on to dinner at a wonderful place, Pipers of Penola which was outstanding. The restaurant was beautiful, the service was very charming and the food was excellent. Perhaps best of all was the luscious chocolate pudding for dessert. Mmmmm, it was good.

This week's recipe is one I remembered because I did a very similar thing during the week with pork sausages and red wine. In that case I made a delicious pasta sauce, but this recipe is for a very easy risotto. It comes from the very reliable Take Three by Jill Dupleix.

Have a happy week. Love from Jane xx

Red wine and sausage risotto

Serves four

What you need:
  • 3 Italian pork and fennel sausages
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • 115ml good red wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 750ml chicken stock, heated
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

What you do:

  1. Heat a non stick frying pan.
  2. Squeeze the meat out of the sausages and add the meat in small lumps to the frying pan, frying until lightly crusty and golden. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the same pan and add the onion, cooking over a moderate heat until translucent.
  4. Add the rice and stir until well mixed with the onion.
  5. Add the red wine and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes, until absorbed.
  6. Add the sausage and stir thoroughly.
  7. Add all of the chicken stock and bring the mix back to the boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the stock and is tender. If the rice starts to dry out and isn't yet cooked, add some water.
  9. Stir in the Parmesan and serve with additional Parmesan served at the table.