Brown Ale Mushroom Risotto By: Nick Hack

I am a fan of mushrooms and so is my family. I try when I can to mix them into different meals. When I am looking to do a restaurant quality meal at home, one of the first foods that comes to mind is Risotto.  Risotto is a versatile food and can be used as both a side dish or a main entrée. The trick to a great risotto is to add the water a little at a time and stirring it constantly to release the starch from the grains.

3 Tbs. Butter

¼ cup Dried Mushrooms

1Tbs. Shallot

¼ tsp. Rosemary

1 tsp. Sage

1 tsp. Garlic

2/3 cup Mushrooms

1 cup Risotto

1 ½ cups Chicken Stock

1 cup Brown Ale

1/3 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese

Start by soaking the dried mushrooms in ½ cup hot water. When measuring the mushrooms do not pack tightly into the measuring cup.

While the mushrooms are soaking, chop the herbs, garlic and shallots and add to a sauce pan, over medium heat, with 2 Tbs. of butter.

As the herbs are sautéing, slice the fresh mushrooms. I like to remove the stems and use the caps only in this recipe. When sliced, add to the pan and sauté for 7 minutes until brown.

After the mushrooms are browned and caramelized add the beer to the pan to deglaze and remove the browned “goodies” on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 1 minute

Add the rice and 1 cup of the chicken stock and incorporate well.

Reduce the heat so the rice is on a low simmer. After the broth in the pan is reduced, add the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time. Be sure to stir the rice regularly so it does not stick and burn on the bottom of the pan. When the last bit of broth has been absorbed add the “tea” from the dried mushrooms.


Take the dried mushrooms that are now soft and give them a quick rough chop with a knife and add to the risotto.

After stirring in the mushrooms turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes to finish absorbing the excess liquid. After the risotto has rested, add the cheese and stir in slowly.  After the cheese has been well incorporated, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir until mixed in.

When everything is fully mixed together, you can either serve with some grilled chicken and a nice vegetable for a complete meal or have it as a main entrée. Either way, it is sure to please everyone, and for the budge orientated, it is great on the wallet.