If you love creamy, if you love sausage, European smoked pork sausage with lots of garlic and herbs, I promise you will love this smoked pork risotto. It is one of those creations that happens when you try to use what’s left in the cupboard and save yourself that grocery store trip.
When I see ground pork I immediately think of my grandparent’s smoked sausages that we used to make every Christmas. Since I didn’t exactly plan this dish long enough in advance to actually smoke some sausage, I fake it with some smoked paprika, one of my favorite things to use lately. It gives the risotto that pretty color and that smoky flavor without all the smoke and trouble.
Smoked Pork Risotto Recipe
( serves 4 )
- 1 1/2 c arborio rice
- 5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil + 4 Tbs butter
- 1 small onion -diced
- 7 garlic cloves -grated
- 1/2 c white wine
- 5-6 c organic hot chicken stock -low sodium
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 lb organic ground pork or organic Italian sausage
- 2 red bell peppers -roasted and diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ( if you don’t like smoky flavors feel free to substitute with sweet paprika )
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes + more to taste
- black pepper to taste -freshly ground
- 1/4 c Parmigiano-Reggianno -freshly grated
- 10 sprigs of fresh thyme -leaves only
- 1/2 c Italian parsley -minced
- 1 c cherry tomatoes – halved
1. Heat up the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter on medium flame in an enameled cast iron pan and sweat the onions with a pinch of sea salt for 10 min until softened and translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and ground pork or italian sausage and break it up with the side of a flat wooden spoon. Allow to cook for a few minutes then add the sea salt and paprika. Give it a good stir and mix in the rice.
2. Let everything cook together for about 3 minutes, until the rice is no longer opaque. Add 5 of the grated garlic coves, the roasted peppers and the thyme leaves and stir to combine.
3. Add the wine and stir until almost absorbed but never let the rice dry out completely. Stirring often will also prevent sticking and ensure that your risotto will turn out super creamy.
4. Start adding the stock a ladle at a time stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until absorbed. Once the stock has been absorb add another ladle full making sure to maintain a constant ripple and never let the rice dry out. Continue until the rice grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parmigiano-reggianno and one tablespoon of butter for an extra creamy finish.
5. A few minutes before your risotto is ready, heat up 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and saute the 2 cloves of grated garlic for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt . Let cook together for a few minutes until the tomatoes just start releasing their juices. Fold them into the risotto and serve sprinkled with the fresh parsley.
TIP: To ensure a creamy risotto make sure to stir often, never let the rice dry out completely, and use hot stock so you don’t shock the rice grains with a cold liquid.