Gary Mehigan’s Pine Mushroom Risotto

Cultivated button or exotic mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake, or king browns can be easily substituted in this recipe. Remember if you are foraging for mushrooms there are generally only a couple of varieties in Australia that are edible and easily found and identified. If you are in any doubt at all about the mushrooms you find then do not pick them. Better to be safe than sorry or worse.


  • 200 g pine mushrooms cleaned and sliced
  • 200 g carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 500-600 ml good white chicken stock preferably home made
  • 25 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g mascarpone
  • Good pinch of flaked sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


Step 1.
Place the chicken stock into a pot and heat over a high flame until it comes to the boil and reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat and add a good dash of extra virgin olive oil. Add half the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes tossing or stirring occasionally until they are golden brown. Remove onto a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

Step 2.
Using the same frying pan wash and return to a medium heat. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil and add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.

Step 3.
Gently cook the onions and garlic until soft and sweet; add a pinch of salt and a little black pepper and add the rice. Stir and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring occasionally until the rice grains become a little translucent.

Step 4.
Add the mushrooms and any juices from them and stir. Add 3/4 of the hot stock and bring gently back to the boil. Reduce the heat so the risotto is just simmering.

Step 5.
Stirring only occasionally, cook the risotto for 10-12 minutes minutes. When the rice has absorbed nearly all the stock, add a ladle more chicken stock at a time as required, stirring frequently for a further 4-5 minutes or until the rice is just cooked.

Step 6.
The risotto should be loose but not overly wet, when lifted with a spoon and put back down it should gently fall back into place. The rice grains should be just cooked but still ‘al dente’ or ever so slightly firm to the bite.

Step 7.
Remove from the heat and add the mascarpone, Parmesan and butter. Stir to combine all the ingredients and allow too sit for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Serves 2

TIP: To clean the pine mushrooms, handle gently and brush the soil or debris from the tops of the mushrooms using a pastry brush. You can use a damp paper towel for stubborn areas. If you are worried at all about the dirt, run a trickle of water over the top of the mushroom and use the pastry brush to clean them. Gently lay onto paper towel to dry. Never wash the under side of the mushrooms as they become sponges, soaking up the water, spoiling them completely.