New Zealand and Australian growers have had varying degrees of success with truffières established in the early 1990s. Duncan Garvey’s ‘Perigord Truffles of Tasmania’ harvested the first Australian truffle in June 1999 but truffle production in Tasmania is only now approaching consistent levels. The majority of Australian production is from WA, where it has been something a success story, followed by TAS, with a little more from VIC/NSW.
If you are lucky enough to source a fresh truffle, local or otherwise, this is the ultimate truffle dish, apart, perhaps, from Buon Ricordo’s (Sydney) truffled egg pasta, which dish Chef Armanda Percuoco is unable to take off the menu for fear of rioting in the streets.Mushrooms, rice and cheese are great mates of truffles so I’ve made an ultra mushroomy risotto to complement the shavings of black gold. In the absence of real truffles, invest in a small bottle of good truffle oil and sprinkle that lightly over the risotto just before serving. You’ll get the idea…
A luxurious dish deserves The Pinot Hedonist’s Trio
Truffled mushroom risotto15g dried porcini, soaked in 1 cup warm water, strained, liquid and mushrooms reservedFor the stock:1.5 litres chicken stockliquid from soaking the porcini6 flat brown mushrooms, chopped roughlySimmer the chicken stock, liquid from soaking the porcini and the mushrooms together for about 20 minutes. Strain and discard mushrooms. Keep the stock hot.
For the risotto:knob butter & 1 tbsp olive oil1 small onion, finely chopped3 large flat brown mushrooms, stems removed, caps finely chopped1 ½ cups risotto ricehalf glass white winehot stock (as above)In a large saucepan heat the butter and a olive oil. Saute the onion until it is translucent but not browned. Add the finely chopped mushrooms and sauté a little longer. Stir in the rice and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the wine and let bubble away, stirring occasionally. Now add ladles of stock, one at a time, allowing each to absorb before adding the next. The rice should bubble very gently. Stir it occasionally. Cook in this way until the rice is just tender.
For the mushroom condiment:small knob butter8 button mushrooms, slicedreserved soaked porcini, finely choppedbig dollop crème fraiche salt and pepper60g grated Grana or ParmesanSaute the button mushrooms and porcini in the butter for a minute or two. Add the crème fraiche and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for half a minute. When the rice is just cooked, stir in the mushroom condiment along with the grated cheese.
To garnish and serve:extra shaved Grana or Parmesanshavings of trufflePlace a large spoonful of risotto in a soup plate. Shake well to spread the risotto flat. Dot with the truffle shavings and garnish with shavings of Grana or Parmesan.