5 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or thyme) (optional)
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb Jimmy Dean sausage
1 lb white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 cups medium-grain risotto rice
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 pound asparagus, stemmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Shaved or shredded Parmesan for garnish
pot and heat over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the sausage to the onion and cook until no longer pink, breaking the sausage into pieces with a spoon. When the sausage is cooked through reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and rice. Cook until the rice starts to get translucent on the edges, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the rice is translucent on the edges, add a ladle full of hot stock (avoid adding the herbs that are swimming in the stock) to the rice (about 3/4 cup) and stir gently but constantly until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add another ladle full when liquid is absorbed and keep stirring. Keep repeating this procedure until you have about 1 1/2 cups of stock left (it took me around 18 minutes to get to this point). Add the asparagus and then continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is cooked through but not mushy. It took me just under 30 minutes of stirring and adding stock to cook my rice and I had just over a 1/2 cup of stock left over.
When the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and stir in the shredded Parmesan. Serve right away with additional Parmesan on top.
The stirring process takes some time and you can’t really walk away from the dish at this point. Plan accordingly.
The amount of liquid you will use and the cook time will vary depending on the weather and your rice, just test the done-ness of the rice along the way.