Joel Bickford's Cacio e Pepe risotto
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
"Our risotto dish is actually the brainchild of the company’s Group Executive Chef Danny Corbett," says Shell House culinary directorJoel Bickford. "It was an idea he’d been playing with during some early trials we were doing together mid 2021. We wanted a 'classic on classic' dish that was undeniably tasty and a bit of fun."
Everyone loves a risotto, and what better flavour profile to introduce than everyone’s favourite pasta dish, Cacio e Pepe? A star was born! The beautiful creamy rice, sharp pecorino, pepper spice, a hint of fresh lemon and finally, the luxurious warm yolk to bring it all together. A real crowd favourite and quite a humble dish with only a few basic ingredients. Take it to the next level with some Italian white truffle."
1 brown onion, diced
80ml olive oil
160g carnaroli or other risotto rice
120g cold butter, diced
340ml hot parmesan-infused vegetable stock (see note)
40g Parmigiano Reggiano (or pecorino), or more as desired
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 confit egg yolks (optional; see note)
1. Stir onion, oil and a pinch of salt in a swide aucepan over low heat until onion is translucent and starting to soften, about 6–8 minutes. Add ½ cup water and 20g butter and cook, stirring often, until water evaporates and onion is sizzling in oil and completely tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add rice and stir well to coat with oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until grains of rice are translucent around the edges about 5 minutes.
3. Add hot parmesan stock little by little. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Carry on adding stock and stirring the rice occasionally, until the rice is tender but with a slight bite. If rice isn't ready when all stock is used, add a little extra water until rice is the right consistency. Add remaining cold butter and stir to emulsify.
4. Serve risotto with grated parmigiano, cracked black pepper and a confit yolk (if using) in the middle.
N O T E
To make a parmesan-infused stock, bring 2 cups of diced vegetables (mirepoix), such as onion, carrot and celery along with 1 litre water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add any used parmesan rinds and simmer until stock is well-flavoured (about 1 hour). Strain beforre using. You can also use a vegetable stock and add extra Parmigiano Reggiano to the risotto. At Shell House, they confit the egg yolk slowly in melted lard or olive oil until barely cooked. You can also leave off if desired, or serve raw.
Recipe by Joel Bickford and Shellhouse. Photography by Lisa Featherby.