Creamy Risotto with Prawns


  • Classic Risotto
    • 2 L Chicken Stock
    • 1 stalk of celery
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 2 fennel leaves
    • 30ml Olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 cups Arborio rice
    • ¼ cup Pernot
    • 1 cup White wine
    • 300g Prawns, with shells
    • 1 cup of Parmesan, grated
    • 10ml soft butter
    • Small handful of chopped herbs
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 lemon zest
    • Baby leeks, poached
  • Red Pepper, chilli and garlic sauce
    • 2 red peppers, deseeded
    • 1 chilli, deseeded
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 30ml Water
    • 30ml Butter


  1. Start with the chicken stock
  2. In a large saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer.
  3. Add the prawn shells and heads, celery, garlic clove and fennel and simmer for 20 min.
  4. Reuben always recommends using homemade stock; it has the best flavour and viscosity for the risotto.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove the stock from the heat and strain.
  6. Now, place back into a saucepan, and keep warm over low heat…
  7. The stock must be hot when you add it to the rice, otherwise you’ll end up with a hard outer but soft inside grain.
  8. Now for our Red pepper sauce
  9. Place the red peppers, chilli, garlic and water in a food processor until well blended.
  10. When done, remove and strain.
  11. Place the liquid into a small pan and reduce by half, this takes roughly 10 minutes.
  12. Reducing the liquid, really intensifies the flavours in the sauce.
  13. When reduced, add the butter and stir to melt.
  14. The butter must be well incorporated into the reduction and emulsify the sauce to give a lovely gloss.
  15. Set it aside when done.
  16. This delicious sauce adds great colour and balances the risotto perfectly with a hint of heat.
  17. Now for the risotto.
  18. Using a slightly deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  19. Now, Toss in the onions and garlic and sauté quickly until golden and fragrant. This should take about 3-5 minutes
  20. Next, add the rice and stir to coat each rice grain evenly with the oil.
  21. Now, Add the Pernot.
  22. Using a wooden spoon is the best tool for the job.
  23. The rice will give off a toasty aroma and change from pure white to almost opaque
  24. Next, add the white wine and stir as the rice absorbs the liquid. Reduce your heat to low.
  25. Watch that your temperature is not too high nor too low. Too high a temperature will make the absorption too quick and if the temperature is too low will make the risotto to hard. Maintain the temperature to a gentle simmer.
  26. Start adding the hot stock, ONE LADLE SPOON at a time, whilst continuing to stir.
  27. As the rice absorbs the liquid, and starts to look a little dry, add another ladle spoon of stockand continue to stir.
  28. This is a very important step when making risotto.  You want to stir constantly so the starches on the outside of the grains of the rice agitate each other.
  29. Continue to add stock at intervals, stirring frequently after each addition.
  30. If you add too much liquid while doing this process there will be too much space between the grains of rice and you will not get a creamy texture.
  31. When the rice starts to look near cooked, add the deshelled prawns.
  32. Adding the prawns near to the end of the cooking process, ensures that they are not overcooked and adding them raw imparts more flavour into the risotto
  33. The whole cooking process should take roughly 45 minutes.
  34. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  35. You know your risotto is cooked when the grains are soft with a slight bite to the centre.
  36. With the pot off the heat add in the grated Parmesan, butter and fresh herbs and gently stir into your risotto.
  37. It is important that the risotto is off the heat when you add the cheese and the butter. There should be enough liquid in the risotto to melt the cheese and butter ,and emulsify the two for extra creaminess.
  38. Serve immediately. 

Wine Pairing

  • Chamonix
  • Reuben paired he’s dish (above) with the following Chamonix wines:
  • Pinot noir Resrve 2007
  • Chardonnay Reserve 2012