Brie and Ham Risotto with Balsamic California Fig Black Pepper Sauce

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep Time
Cook Time


  • 1 smoked ham hock, about 2 pounds
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves, 5 left whole, 3 minced
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone
  • 3 ounce Brie cheese, chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6 California Fresh Figs, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


    1. Add the ham hock, water, onion, and whole garlic cloves to a large soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer on low until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove ham hock, reserve 3 cups of cooking liquid. Cool, shred, and reserve meat.
    2. While ham and stock cook and cool, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat to a strong simmer. Stir often, mashing the figs as it cooks. Let cook for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Set aside.
    3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot such as a Dutch oven, add shallots and the minced garlic. Cook over low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice with wooden spoon and stir constantly while adding reserved broth ½ cup at a time until rice is tender. Add cream and continue stirring until absorbed.
    4. Turn off heat and fold in the mascarpone, Brie, and shredded ham hock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Dollop with the fig sauce and garnish with parsley before serving.