I’ve always hated oatmeal. I wanted to like it – because I love rolled oats in baked goods – but oatmeal? Nasty stuff. A friend of mine insisted that I try steel cut oats. I was skeptical, but finally decided to give it a shot. OMG, they’re worlds apart from the glop I’d had in the past. Flavourful and with a good texture. I’m hooked.
I have it quite often on the weekends now. When I first started making it, I’d make it plain and then stir in some dried cranberries and marmalade at the end. It’s good, but my favourite way to make it is to add a chopped apple and some frozen cranberries at the beginning of the cooking process so they soften and release their juices and flavour into the oatmeal. Then I’ll stir in a bit of buttermilk towards the end. Once it’s done, I just sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top and finish with some pecans.
basic steel cut oatmeal
You’ll need a 3:1 ratio of water to oats. I find that 1/3 cup of steel cut oats cooked in 1 cup of water makes a good-sized serving.
1 part steel cut oats
3 parts water
Bring your water (and any fruit you want) to a boil. Add the oats, cover loosely and reduce to a simmer.
At this point you can just leave it alone for about 20-25 minutes. Then give it a stir and add a splash of buttermilk or cream. If it seems a bit dry at this point, you can add a bit more water too. Re-cover and let cook for another 10 minutes or so.
Timing is totally not critical – if you want chewier oats, cook for shorter time. If you like them softer, cook them longer. Experiment with the time and see what you prefer. I usually cook them between 30 and 40 minutes.