Red wine, bacon and tarragon risotto

45 minutes


  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 200g of bacon lardons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 small leek, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 300g of carnaroli risotto rice, or arborio rice
  • 400ml of red wine
  • 200g of button mushrooms, halved
  • 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 600ml of chicken stock, ideally fresh, warmed in a pan
  • 100g of butter
  • 50g of Parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper


Place a large pan over a medium heat and fry off the bacon lardons in a teaspoon of vegetable oil. The lardons may release some water; wait until this cooks off and the lardons begin to colour and crisp
Add the onion, celery, leek and garlic with a pinch of salt and sweat down for about 8 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not starting to colour
Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until the rice starts to toast a little
Add the red wine with the mushrooms and 2 sprigs of tarragon and leave to simmer and reduce whilst stirring regularly
Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the warm chicken stock, a ladle at a time, letting the rice absorb each spoonful of stock before adding the next. Stir regularly to release the starch from the rice, as this is what gives you a creamy risotto
You may not need all the stock, or you may need a little more – keep tasting the rice so you know when it is cooked. Once you are happy with the texture, take off the heat and beat in the butter and Parmesan, then leave to sit with a lid on for 5 minutes
Pick out the stalks from the tarragon before serving, then garnish with fresh tarragon leaves and serve