Mushroom Risotto with Bacon and Poached Egg

I am a huge fan of risotto! This one is packed full of earthy flavours from the mushrooms and a salty hit of bacon. The addition of that perfectly poached egg just takes the meal to a whole new level. The cooking process requires some multi-tasking (or two people) but each task is super easy so it's not hard to juggle. When the rice is cooked, be sure to add plenty of parmesan cheese and swirl in a knob of butter to make this dish even silkier. Meals like this are the reason I love winter so much.

Serves 4

What you'll need:
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 litres chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
4 swiss brown mushrooms, sliced finely
1/4 cup grated parmesan
40g butter
A handful of thyme sprigs, leaves harvested
4 bacon rashers, rind removed, plus some diced bacon (if you want)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

What to do:
Pour some olive oil into a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until cooked. Add the rice and stir until each grain is glossy. Add the wine and let stir until absorbed. Add the mushrooms and thyme. 

Add a glug of stock and stir until absorbed. Add more stock and stir until it has been absorbed before you add more. When the rice goes transparent but you can still see a white centre, put a pot of water on to boil and, in a frypan, fry the bacon until it's crispy!

Continue the stock and stir process until the rice doubles in size and is just cooked through; there should be no crunch when you test a grain and it should be soft and bouncy. Stir in the parmesan and butter and season with salt and pepper. Just cover the risotto with a lid or alfoil while you boil the eggs.

Meanwhile, your water should be boiled - or very close to! So, break each egg onto squares of glad wrap, gather the top and twist to seal. Lower each egg into the water and when the outside goes white, let it drop it in. Cook for 4-6 minutes or longer if you like a hard egg. For a runny yolk, the egg should be firm but bouncy when you remove it from heat. When cooked, set aside to cool while you serve out the risotto and bacon. Unwrap the egg and pop it on top.

Season with pepper and parmesan and enjoy!