Perfect Oatmeal

Friday 27 November 2009

When I was growing up my mother couldn't get us to eat oatmeal, not for love or money. None of us would. It reminded us too much of wallpaper paste, or glue . . .

I know . . . we were spoilt . . . we were reared on tasty breakfast cereals such as Cap'n Crunch, Fruit Loops and Puffa Puffa Rice . . .

As an adult I have come to love my oats in the morning. There is nothing tastier, nutritious or more filling to start off your day.

They're good for your heart, and help to lower blood cholesterol. Loaded with healthy fibre and vitamins, and well known for being one of the best foods for those who are seeking to lose fat and stay healthy.

I love Scottish Pinhead oats, or steel cut oats as they are also known. They have more texture and a real nutty flavour that we here in Oak Cottage just love.

This is my perfected way of cooking them. I could eat this every morning and would choose it over anything else in a heartbeat!!

If you would have told me that when I was ten, I would have thought you quite insane . . . although . . . being the perfectly well behaved child that I was, I would never have told you so . . . ☺

*Perfect Oatmeal*
serves 3 to 4
Printable Recipe

Also known as Scotch oats, Irish oatmeal and pinhead oats, Steel cut oats are whole oats that have been cut into thirds instead of rolled and flattened into flakes. Yummo! (Psst!! Use a wooden spoon for stirring and cooking them! Don't ask me why, but they taste better! )

1 1/2 pints water
1/2 pint of whole milk
25g unsalted butter
6 ounces of steel cut oats
pinch salt

Place the water and milk into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep simmering on medium low heat while you toast the oats. (you do NOT want it to boil)

Heat a medium heavy based skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the oats and toast, stirring constantly until golden and fragrant and having an almost butterscotch aroma. This should take several minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk the toasted oats into the simmering water/milk mixture. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the salt and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the oatmeal is thick and creamy like a custard pudding. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for about 5 minutes, undisturbed before serving. Serve immediately with your choice of additions. I personally like cream and a bit of golden syrup, but you may like something else. Maple syrup is good as are raisins and other dried fruits, and brown sugar. Enjoy!!


  1. I LOVE nutty, thick Irish oatmeal! Always have...I can even get that very brand you have pictured at the top...have it in my pantry right now! I love the new little video you have showing the proper way to prepare it--very clever!

    I've never known to toast the oats in butter first--of course that's a far superior way than just adding boiling water!

    Thanks for always making my just before I go to bed time so lovely--I always know there will be something new and delicious from Marie!

  2. Oh dear, as a Scot I'm supposed to like porridge. Well I've tried, and I've tried again, but I still don't like it even with pinhead oatmeal. I'm a Bircher Muesli girl and have been since about 1979, have it every day during the week and sometimes on Saturday too.

  3. Found your blog through Julie (2 comments above.)
    So happy to visit. How funny, it is rather cold here in Texas, so I said to my children, "Oatmeal or Farina?" Overwhelming response..."Oatmeal." Of course, we only had Quaker Quick Oats available, but the kiddos don't know the difference. I myself, prefer McCann's Irish oatmeal, but it is difficult to find in my town.

  4. We used always to have Quaker Oats but I got some organic rolled oats from a Healthfood shop and they are far superior. We like porridge made from oatmeal too but it takes a comparitively long time so we only have that on Sundays. Never heard of toasting it though - I might try that.

    Keith likes his porridge - whicever sort - dosed up with about half a ton of butter and a good swish of cream. I like mine with plenty of salt and a bit of sugar. How anyone eats it with no sugar is beyond me!

    love, Angie, xx

  5. Oh, I LOVE oatmeal! I love to add lots of goodies to it at the end of cooking! I love your blog, too and would like to put in on my favorites list! Thanks!

  6. I'm a new convert to Oatmeal. Used to have the rolled oats as a kid but could only stomach about 3 spoonfuls ... About a month ago, I tried the McCann's ( I get it at Trader Joe's ) and absolutely LOVED it. I undercook it a little so that it is a bit chewy, use maybe 1/3 tsp sugar, either half & half or almond milk and sprinkle with dried, unsweetened cranberries ... YUMMY ... Oh and I've also just discovered your Blog ...I will be back ! :-)


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