Pork and apple risotto with truffle balsamic and avocado

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of cook who can walk into the kitchen, not having been to the supermarket, and rustle something up from whatever’s in the fridge or on top of the cupboard. I’m also a budding leftover enthusiast, whether that means taking last night’s tea to work or using up extra ingredients for one dish in something entirely different. It’s all a work in progress but I’m really conscious of wasting food when I buy (and eat) so much. And in that vain, after creating these mini pork wellingtons, I had some pork and apple left to play with, which resulted in this here risotto. Everything else I added to the risotto was stuff I already had. Super easy!

Creamy, sweet and salty, this risotto is a really great cold evening, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish and it’s a one-pot wonder, which saves on the washing up. Top it off with whatever you like – I went with my new obsession, a thick truffle balsamic (I got mine from The Olive Oil Company at Borough Market but you can get similar for just £4.40 here), plus a bit of green in the form of avocado. I highly recommend putting avo and risotto together, the creamy saltiness of the cheesy risotto with the mushy nuttiness of the avocado is a taste sensation.

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Serves 4

150g pork loin

Apple, onion and cream mixture from the pork wellington recipe, or if you’re starting from scratch, 1 peeled, decored and chopped apple, 1 diced onion and 4 chopped garlic cloves, plus a splash of cream)

200g risotto rice

Parmesan

2 pints chicken stock

1/2 cup Madeira

Salt and pepper

Paprika

Cheddar cheese (optional)

Avocado (optional)

Truffle balsamic glaze (optional, but very much recommended!)

If you’ve already got the pork and apple mixture, pop that into a warm pan with a little oil first. Starting from scratch? Fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic for another 5 minutes, then introduce the apple and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the cream, stir well and then add the pork, which you should cook until white all over.

Then pour in the risotto rice, continuing to stir so nothing sticks. Once the rice has started to become a bit see-through, add half of the Madeira. It should sizzle quite a bit – keep stirring. Once the liquid has all been soaked up, add the rest of the Madeira.

Sprinkle in a little salt, pepper and paprika and stir well.

Once the rice starts to get a bit dry again you can begin to add the stock. I usually add a 1/4 pint glass at a time, with a pinch of Parmesan, stirring and letting the rice absorb it in between each pour. This should take about half an hour.

When your risotto is close to finished pop a knob of butter and a little more Parmesan in the centre and cover with a lid or large plate. Let this sink in for 3-4 minutes, while you grate the cheddar and chop an avocado.

Serve with the cheese, avocado, a sprinkle of black pepper and my favourite truffle balsamic glaze. Or whatever you fancy, there are no hard and fast rules here. Crusty garlic bread is a great partner too, but go easy on the portion size – this dish is pretty filling and anything you can’t eat will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (or make for a great lunch tomorrow!).

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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