I’m tardy with this post, but I have an excuse.
I wanted to post this awesomely delicious recipe for Outlander Kitchen’s 3rd Anniversary on October 31 , but then I had an accident involving a brand-new, very sharp vegetable peeler, a butternut squash and my left pinky.
I’m not going to share the details, because, after all, this is a food blog. Without getting into it, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done to myself in the kitchen; even the doctor in our small island clinic said it was the most interesting thing he’d had to treat all week.
Claire would have been in her element.
As for me, it kept me out of the kitchen and off of my computer for a couple of days, until the hotdog-sized bandage was changed to something more manageable. Have you ever tried to wash the dishes or hit the shift key with the equivalent of a Dunedin sausage on your finger?
Instead, I read.
This week, I got back into the swing of things and finally made this steel-cut oat risotto after waiting months for summer’s end and the opening of comfort food season.
We enjoyed it on a rainy night, garnished with basil oil and with some of the dreaded roasted butternut squash on the side. Both My Englishman and I loved it; he’s already asked me to make it again.
Try it! Trust me. It’s my anniversary gift to you all for the years of love and support.
Warm, earthy, savoury and cheesy — they may be oats, but this certainly ain’t parritch.
: Delicious, rib-sticking, 21st Century Scottish comfort food rich with mushrooms and bacon.
- Chicken or Vegetable Stock – 5 to 6 Cups (see notes)
- Pancetta, cubed – 3 oz (see notes)
- Olive Oil -2 to 3 Tble
- Onion, chopped – 1 small
- Shiitake Mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced – ½ lb (see notes)
- Steel-Cut Oats – 1 Cup
- Garlic, minced or grated -1 clove
- Fresh Thyme – 1 sprig
- White Wine or Dry Vermouth – ½ Cup (see notes)
- Parmesan Cheese, shredded – 1 Cup (divided)
- s+p – to taste
Heat stock in a large pot to simmering. Keep warm.
Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta and fry until golden and just crisp. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and reserve on paper towel.
Add olive oil to pan to total about 3 tablespoons. When shimmering, add onion and mushrooms and cook until soft and onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add oats, garlic and thyme, cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze with white wine and stir until almost dry.
Add stock 1 to 2 ladles at a time, stirring constantly. Stock should bubble gently. When stock is almost completely absorbed, add another ladle or two. Continue cooking, stirring and adding stock until the oats are tender, but still slightly al dente, 30-40 minutes. Remove thyme sprig, stir in half of parmesan, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, garnishing with remaining Parmesan.
Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)
- If you use store-bought stock, ensure it is no-salt added, or at least half salt. Regular packaged stock will result in a VERY SALTY risotto.
- No pancetta? Side bacon is also delicious.
- No shiitakes? Use your favourite mushroom instead!
- Dry vermouth is an excellent substitution for white wine in recipes, and is shelf stable for long term storage.
- I garnished ours with basil oil, but you could use truffle oil, chili oil, a pat of butter or anything else that sounds good to you.