Friday, 17 May 2013

Recipe: Savoury rice

Not a particularly inspiring name for what turned out to be a very delicious meal, is it?  Never mind.

The big thing about this is to have a tasty stock.  A dash of soy sauce or Worcester sauce also helps.  I suppose it is rather risotto-ish but made with ordinary value rice which keeps the cost down.
The vegetables are more or less what's in the house really, as is whatever you use for meat.  I also added some kidney beans from a batch that I'd just cooked and they made a tasty addition.

And all for under 50p a portion!

Savoury rice

Ingredients to make two good portions.
1/2 tbsp olive oil  
20g onion   
70g 'cooking bacon' (take the fat off)  
50g mixed peppers (frozen)  
squidge of garlic puree   
100g rice (Value)   
1 level tsp chicken stock paste  or a tasty, flavoursome vegetable stock
boiling water
chicken bits in stock (from a boiled up chicken carcass) 
Dried or fresh herbs
Black pepper
40g mushrooms 
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes

Peel and chop the onion (I used a wedge from a larger onion).   Cut the bacon into pieces
Chop the mushrooms.   Quarter the tomatoes.  Wash the rice in a sieve and drain well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the onion and bacon and sauté gently until the bacon is just cooked and the onions are softening.  Add the peppers and a squidgy of garlic and continue for a few more minutes.

Turn up the heat, add the rice and fry, stirring until; the rice becomes translucent (be careful it doesn't catch).
Add some boiling water and the chicken stock.  Amount of water is whatever it takes – you can add more.  You need enough to cook the rice uncovered.  Stock is to taste.  If using dried herbs, add now, also the black pepper.

Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is almost gone, then add the chicken bits in stock (or chicken bits and add more water and a bit more stock flavouring.  Keep tasting and adjusting seasoning – I didn't add salt as the stock is salty, as is the bacon.  Remember that salt will intensify as the liquid evaporates away

By now the rice should be a bit harder than al dente.  Continue to simmer until; the rice is just cooked.  Be careful it doesn't stick and burn at this point.  If there’s too much liquid still, increase the heat, if there’s not enough, add more boiling water (or stock liquid).

Finally, add the chopped mushrooms, the cherry tomatoes quarters and fresh herbs (if used).  Stir gently in – the heat from the rice mixture will heat and cook as much as needed (which isn’t much).
Check seasoning again and adjust if needed.

Serve piping hot.  You could add some soy sauce, some grated cheese or a few shakes of Worcester sauce.  While cooking you could add sweetcorn, peas, whatever!  It’s very flexible.


  1. You are right that all risotto dishes rely heavily on a good stock for their flavour - everything else is a bonus

  2. This is very true. A good stock is sublime! :-)