At this time of year, a warming bowl of risotto comes pretty high up in my favourite meals. To make it a fairly quick meal, I coat pork strips in flour and fajita spice.
2 pork chops, sliced into strips
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp fajita spice
25 g butter
1 tbsp oil
400g arborio rice
1 glass of white wine
1 litre of vegetable stock
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Another knob of butter
First of all melt the butter and add the oil in a large pan. Dice the onion and add to the pan on a low heat. Stir and cover, allowing them to sweat and soften for about 10 minutes. Whilst the onion is cooking, put the pork strips in a zip lock bag (or a bowl with cling film on the top), add the flour and spice and shake well until coated. Stir fry until browned. Transfer to an oven proof dish and place in a low oven to keep warm. The trick is to slice about finger width so they have cooked by the time the outside is brown.
Make sure the stock is in a pan on a low heat to keep warm. You need to add hot liquid to the risotto to make sure the temperature remains fairly even so it keeps cooking.
Back to the onion, turn the heat up slightly and add the rice. Stir until all the rice is coated in the oil and starts to turn from white to opaque. Add the wine and continue stirring until all the liquid is absorbed. Add two ladlefuls of stock and keep stirring. Every time the liquid is nearly absorbed add another ladleful of stock. You need to stir often but not constantly. Keeping one eye on the risotto, cook off the sliced mushrooms in butter or oil until fairly well done. If you want you can add pancetta or artichoke hearts to the mushrooms for extra flavour. Don’t forget to keep stirring the risotto.
Once you’ve used up the stock (about 15-20 minutes) your rice should be cooked. Add the knob of butter, parmesan and mushrooms and make sure it’s mixed well. Turn out the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for one minute. You shouldn’t really need extra salt with the stock and parmesan but taste and season if necessary. Dish up with the pork.