Risotto is easy to make and delicious. It needs a bit of attention and stirring, so it's a good dish for responsible children to help with.
I’m a big fan of risotto. The dish was created in northern Italy and can be made with vegetables, seafood and all sorts of meat. So for we fieldsports fans here I thought I’d focus on some easy risotto recipes that use game – whether that’s pheasant, partridge, pigeon or grouse.
It’s a really good way of using up leftovers too – so if you’ve roasted some game and have bits of cooked meat left, then use them as a risotto base.
Although risotto is pretty straightforward to make, there are a few rules to follow if you want things to turn out correctly.
- Firstly, you must use risotto rice (this is easily found in supermarkets and it’s not expensive). The one you’ll probably see most often is Arborio risotto rice – just make sure whatever rice you buy originated in Italy. Risotto rice gives a creamy texture to the recipe, draws in the flavours and liquid – if you try and use up ordinary rice you’ll find your dish bitty, dry and lumpy.
- Stir, stir, stir. Don’t leave your risotto to bubble away on the hob unattended or it will burn at the bottom. It’s a very sociable dish to cook – prepare it whilst you have friends around for a drink in the kitchen or co-opt a young cook to keep stirring.
If you’re running short of game in your freezer or need to stock up, here’s a list of game stockists from around the country. Many do online deliveries, so you can have it sent straight to your door. (Also try this listing of game stockists from Game to Eat.)
Easy risotto recipes for game
This recipe serves two and uses two partridge breasts, so double up if you’re cooking for more. It’s a great one if you find some partridge breasts in the freezer and are wondering how to cook them.
This is one to have up your sleeve ahead of the Glorious Twelfth. It’s not strictly risotto because it doesn’t use risotto rice – it uses cooked spelt, which is more like wheat than rice but both delicious and nutritious.
Wood pigeon breasts are available year round and they are inexpensive too.
Another way of using breast meat. This recipe is paired with wild mushrooms and delicious with asparagus when its in season.
This dish uses pearl barley instead of risotto rice, which gives a nuttier texture.
Finally, if you’ve feeling adventurous, then you might like to try Tim Maddams’s recipe for squirrel risotto – or as he calls it, ‘squizotto’. We don’t have a photograph to share with you but we are assured it is completely delicious!