This needs no accompaniment – it is a rich and nutty affair – and with the artichokes in there, I dare say your nasal passages would be hard-pressed to ignore the presence of it, too! If you can’t find the artichokes, or indeed daren’t, celeriac would make a very decent alternative.
For the Jerusalem artichoke purée:
- 500 g Jerusalem artichokes
- 85 ml double cream
- 80 g butter
- 1-1.5 pints of milk
For the risotto:
- The meat from two poached pheasants, pulled off the bone and shredded into 2 inch chunks
- Olive oil
- 400 g risotto rice
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 fennel bulb, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 100 ml white wine
- 1.2-1.5 l of pheasant stock
- 150g Parmesan, finely grated
For the crumb:
- 50 g Panko breadcrumbs
- 50 g butter
- 30 g walnuts, roughly chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 30 g Parmesan, finely grated
First, make the artichoke purée:
1. Peel the artichokes, chop into even pieces and place in a saucepan.
2. Cover with the milk and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil.
3. Allow to boil for 30–40 minutes until the artichokes are completely soft.
4. Drain the artichokes and put in a food blender (you can sieve them, if you don’t have a blender) along with the butter and the cream. Blend on full power until you have a rich and silky purée.
To make the crumb:
1. Melt the butter on a low heat, and
add the breadcrumbs.
2. Allow to toast for a few minutes, tossing and stirring all the while,
then add the walnuts.
3. When the breadcrumbs have become crispy, add the lemon zest, rosemary and Parmesan, and toast for a further minute.
For the risotto:
1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan, and gently fry the diced vegetables for 10 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the rice and the garlic and turn up the heat to medium high.
3. Allow the rice to toast for a minute or so, stirring frequently, then add the whitewine. Stir well, inhaling deeply the glorious aromatics of the evaporating alcohol.
4. When the wine has almost gone, add a ladleful of stock and stir well, allowing the liquid to reduce for a couple of minutes each time, stirring all the while, in the usual risotto fashion.
5. Continue in this therapeutic vein for the next 15–20 minutes, until the rice is just cooked, but still al dente.
6. Stir in the artichoke purée and the pheasant meat, and bring up to the boil, adding a little stock to loosen if needed.
7. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan, and if you’re feeling indulgent, an extra knob of butter, and adjust the seasoning.
8. Cover the pan with a tea towel and set aside for five minutes to rest.
9. To serve, sprinkle with the crumb atop each serving.