Mushroom risotto with poached egg

Frank Camorra's autumn  risotto.
Frank Camorra's autumn risotto. Photo: Marina Oliphant

The risotto is a bit different from most others as you don't stand there stirring and adding ladles of stock. Once you have your rice and aromats in the pot, you add most of the warm stock, put a lid on and simmer, then take the lid off before all the stock is absorbed and stir. This creates a creamy risotto without the sore arm.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

150g swiss brown mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp rosemary, chopped

350g arborio rice

125ml white wine

1 litre vegetable stock

80g butter, chopped into small pieces

50ml white vinegar

4 free range eggs (they must be very fresh or they will be hard to poach)

50g parmesan cheese, grated


Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan and saute the onion and mushrooms until golden.

Meanwhile, fill a medium-sized pot three-quarters full of water and heat on the stove to poach the eggs. Add the garlic and rosemary to the mushroom mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir well for one minute over a medium heat to toast the rice. Add the wine and let the rice absorb it.

Add the stock, stir to combine with rice, cover with a lid and reduce to a gentle heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the lid and check if the rice is cooked with a slight bite to it. Make sure the rice has not absorbed all the stock; if it has, add just enough warm stock so you can stir the mixture easily. Add the butter and stir for a few minutes - you will see the starch thickening the liquid as it is knocked off the rice grains.

Check for seasoning and keep the risotto warm while you poach the eggs. Add the vinegar to the water and bring it to a gentle bubbling simmer. With a slotted metal spoon, give the water a gentle stir in a circular motion to create a whirlpool, crack each egg into a small bowl and gently pour it into the middle of the whirlpool. The eggs will pull up into a tight ball. Cook them for about two minutes then lift them out with the spoon and gently touch the surface, feeling for a soft centre.

Spoon the risotto into a bowl and make a small dent in the middle for the egg. Place an egg in the dent and sprinkle the grated parmesan over the dish.

Serve immediately.