Irish oatmeal, or steel cut oats are oats that haven't been flattened and rolled like the more common quick oats. We've talked about oats before and the difference between rolled, quick, and steel-cut oats.
Steel-cut oats are one of our very favorite things. They cook into something like a breakfast risotto, with a milky consistency and tender, chewy oat nuggets that have some real taste and bite - unlike gooey, sticky instant oat gruel. They take longer to cook than other oats, and though there are ways to shortcut or work around this, we like plain, well-cooked 30-minute steel-cut oats.
To cook them you add a cup of oat groats to 4 cups of salted boiling water. Then you turn the heat down and simmer for about half an hour, stirring every now and then so the bottom doesn't scorch. When they're done they're soft and tender but still a little al dente. You can dress them up with cream, butter, spices, and sugar - saffron and golden raisins make an extra-special morning treat. We used just a drizzle of milk and half a spoon of dark brown sugar today.
You can make this process a little more convenient by leaving them in the slow cooker all night, or soaking them in boiling water before you go to bed. But we've found that the cook time works well with our morning routine - get up, put on the oats, shower, stir, get dressed, stir some more and then they're ready to eat.
What are you eating for breakfast today?