Mushroom and Tunworth Risotto

Tunworth is a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed on a cheeseboard, baked or used to enrich recipes such as this one for a mushroom risotto. Connie who makes cheese at Hampshire Cheese Company kindly shared this recipe with us, combining her experience as a chef and now as a cheesemaker, to create this comforting, hearty meal.

Neal's Yard Dairy Mushroom and Tunworth Risotto

This recipe is perfect for using up the Tunworth, or any other cheese, leftover from your Christmas cheeseboard. You don’t have to be exact on the quantities, just make sure that you have enough stock available to add to your rice. You can use any mushrooms that you have at home or can get your hands on. It's always nice to use wild mushrooms for a varied texture and more interesting flavour but chestnut mushrooms work well too.

Serves 4 as a main course or 6-8 starter portions

1 white onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
500g carnaroli risotto rice
100ml white wine
1.5l chicken or vegetable stock
200g mixed fresh mushrooms
10g dried porcini mushrooms
Leftover Tunworth
A handful of grated parmigiano (optional)

Melt a knob of butter in a large saucepan and add your finely chopped onion and celery. Cook with a lid on, stirring frequently for around 10 minutes. Add your sliced mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile warm your stock. Cover your dried porcini with boiling water and leave to one side.

Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until the rice becomes translucent. Add the wine to the pan and cook it out completely.

You can then begin to add the stock, ladle by ladle, stirring all the time. The secret to a good risotto is in the stirring; by moving the rice constantly you ensure that your finished risotto with be creamy. Once your dried porcini have been soaking for around 10 minutes, remove them from the water and roughly chop. You can add the chopped mushrooms to the risotto as well as the mushroom liquor.

Cook your risotto for roughly 30 minutes. You will see the consistency of the sauce change and become creamy and glossy towards the end of the cooking. At this stage taste the rice to check it is al dente.

Add your Tunworth to taste and depending how much you have leftover perhaps a handful of parmesan too.

Spoon your risotto into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of celery leaves and thyme.