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Rowton Hall

Asparagus Risotto with Poached Egg and Parma Ham

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus (British – of course!)
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 500g arborio rice
  • 1ltr warm vegetable stock
  • 200ml white wine
  • 100g butter
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 10ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  1. Finely chop the shallot and garlic. Remove the woody bottom parts of the asparagus and discard. Slice each spear of asparagus thinly until you have just the top parts about 2cm long keep the tops and slices separate. Place a deep saucepan on the stove with enough water to poach two eggs in, you can add a tablespoon of vinegar to help but if the eggs are fresh its not necessary.
  2. Put the Parma ham slices onto grease proof paper and bake on the oven for 8 minutes at 150 Celsius until crispy, allow to cool and break into shards.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the shallot and garlic, a pinch of salt this will help soften the shallot and garlic, cook until translucent then add the arborio rice.
  4. Lightly toast the rice in the pan, this will help with the final flavour but be careful not to burn the rice, once toasted de glaze with the white wine, add the bay leaves and reduce until almost fully evaporated.
  5. Start adding the stock a little at a time and allow the rice to absorb all the stock before adding more, repeat this process until the rice has swollen and is cooked through but retains some bite to it. This should take roughly 15 minutes, but it can vary so keep tasting once you reach the final stages.
  6. Add the sliced asparagus, parmesan, butter and season with salt and pepper to your personal taste. Once it is fully incorporated the risotto should not be too wet or to thick, it should flow like the consistency of lava.
  7. Crack the eggs into the boiling water, if the pan is deep enough you do not need to whisk the water like most people think you do, poach for 3 minutes remove and season with a little pepper. Cook the asparagus tops in boiling salted water for 1 minute.
  8. Add risotto to a bowl, place the egg on top and garnish with the Parma ham shards. You can at this stage out fresh shaved parmesan on top and a little olive but this is only optional.


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