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Heather Brown - Food writer, photographer, website help and recipes

Left-over Ham and Parmesan Risotto

Of all the festive meats I have leftover, I always end up with loads of ham left. This left-over ham and Parmesan risotto recipe makes the ham the star of the dish and if you’ve chosen a honey roast ham or one cooked in Cola, then that sweetness will work really nicely here. Risottos are a little demanding to cook because they need constant stirring for 20 minutes, but the creamy savoury deliciousness makes a lovely cosy leftover dinner.


Left-over Ham and Parmesan Risotto

Serves 4

75-100g of arborio/risotto rice per person. 250g of ham (or however much you have left) 3 tbsp butter 1 large onion 1 large glass of white wine Black pepper 1l stock (I used ham stock, but vegetable is fine) 100g parmesan cheese a couple of rashers of streaky bacon or some bacon lardons.

In a large saucepan, add the butter and leave to melt over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and add to the butter and soften gently. Add the ham pieces and stir together.

Add in the rice and mix thoroughly, letting the rice soak up any butter. Pour in the white wine and season with black pepper. Mix well. It should loudly sizzle in the pan as the white wine soaks into the rice.

Once the white wine has been absorbed, pour in the stock, a ladle/cup at a time. Each time you add stock, give the mixture a really good stir and keep stirring gently as it cooks so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked (it takes about 20 minutes). If you run out of stock, use boiling water. To test if the rice is cooked, carefully taste some and see if the texture of the rice is soft all the way through.

Once the rice is cooked, grate in the parmesan cheese and stir well until the mixture becomes really creamy.

Take the risotto off the heat, add an extra tsp of butter to the top and leave that to melt. Leave the risotto to stand for 10 minutes. While you wait, in a small frying pan, cook the streaky bacon or lardons until they are crispy. Break the bacon into pieces.

After 10 minutes, give the risotto a really good stir. You will notice that anything stuck to the bottom of the pan will have loosened and the mixture will have come together nicely, ready to serve. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the bowls to finish.

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