Tasso and Smoked Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
20 min
Inactive Prep:
55 min
about 2 quarts, 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and 1/2-inch sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 to 9 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 pound tasso (or smoked ham), small diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups Arborio, or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves


Special equipment: Smoker and either hickory smoking dust or smoke chips of your choice

In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms, Essence and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss to combine and place on the rack of a stovetop smoker. Prepare the smoker over medium-high heat using hickory smoking dust, or the smoke chips of your choice. When the smoker begins to smoke, close the lid. Smoke the mushrooms until cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the smoker and set aside until ready to use.

Place the chicken stock in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Set another 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as the butter. Add the tasso to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and, using a wooden spoon, stir the rice as the wine cooks and reduces. Continue to cook until the wine is nearly completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the stock to the rice and continue to cook, stirring, until the stock is nearly completely absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Add another 2 cups of the stock to the saucepan as well as the smoked mushrooms. Stir the rice until the stock is absorbed-another 4 to 5 minutes, then add another 2 cups of the stock. Continue to cook the rice until the stock is nearly absorbed and add the remaining 2 cups of the stock to the rice. Continue the cooking and stirring process until the stock is absorbed and the rice cooked, but still al dente. When the rice has absorbed the stock, season with the salt and pepper, then fold the whipped cream and Parmesan into the risotto. Add the chopped parsley to the pan and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup