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Ham & Pea Risotto

June, 2020

Ham & Pea Risotto

“Here’s a simple, quick ham & pea risotto that my Gramps used to make whenever we were with him for summer holidays. I love his basic approach to cooking; it’s always inspired me.” – Charlie Palmer, Bartley Lodge Head Chef.

You’ll need (serves 4):

1x shallot

3x garlic cloves

A splash veg oil

150g diced smoked pancetta/bacon

1 cup arborio risotto rice

A splash of white wine

3 cups chicken stock (using a stock cube is perfect for this)

Parmesan cheese

150g frozen peas


  1. 1. First of all, warm a non-stick frying pan to a medium-high heat. Then, add a splash of oil and start rendering your pancetta/bacon. You want to keep tossing and turning the lardons until all of the water has evaporated. Once golden brown and crispy, set aside and keep the remaining fat in the pan, return to the heat and add your diced shallot. Using a spatula slowly start to sweat the shallot down. The idea of sweating down onions is to release the natural sugars and get rid of the water content. Once your onions are almost translucent, add the garlic for 10-30 seconds being careful not to burn them as garlic burns quicker than onion!

2. It’s time to start cooking the rice! The pan should still be warm with your onions and shallots, turn the heat right up and add some oil and your rice. You want to start the cooking process off by shallow frying the rice for 5-10 minutes (being careful not to let it get stuck to the bottom), this starts to soften the shell so it cooks evenly without overcooking. Once your rice has been fried off a little, time to deglaze with a splash of white wine and let it bubble and cook out (you don’t want the taste of alcohol, just the sweetness from the wine).


3. Simply add your stock slowly, ladle by ladle, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is fully cooked. The consistency should be soft yet a touch firm in the centre, when you bite into one of the grains you should still see the centre. Season with salt, sprinkle as much parmesan as your heart’s desires, and of course, don’t forget to add your pancetta/bacon. Plate up and serve with fresh pea shoots. Delicious and perfect for a summer’s evening – al fresco style.

Recipe by Charlie Palmer, Bartley Lodge Head Chef

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