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Steel-Cut Oat Risotto with Shiitakes and Pancetta

Steel-Cut Oat Risotto with Shiitakes and Pancetta

Beyond the Books

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.

Let’s just say my pinky (especially the nail and tip) suffered the brunt of the damage. 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.

steel-cut oat risotto

Steel-Cut Oat Risotto with Shiitakes and Pancetta

: Delicious, rib-sticking, 21st Century Scottish comfort food rich with mushrooms and bacon.

Serves 4

  • 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)

Notes:

  • 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.

34 Comments

  1. Anna Lapping
    November 7, 2014 at 5:18 am

    I will be trying this recipe this weekend. It sounds wonderful, and the steel cut oats will up the nutritional value rather than using rice. BTW, my grandson and his fiance were here two weeks ago for a visit, and I made Bannocks for breakfast. She later asked for the recipe, which I happily printed out for her. Thank you for all your good food ideas. Hope your finger heals well.

    • Yoshimi
      November 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Thx so much for all u do. And take care o’ yourself. Yoshimi

    • Jennifer
      December 19, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Anna (aka Mom), why didn’t you mention that your son-in-law sliced the tip of his thumb off with a cheese plane in the exact same manner? Merry Christmas. I hope you are all healed up now.

  2. Denise Twist
    November 7, 2014 at 5:27 am

    This sounds like a perfect Pacific Northwest Sunday evening meal, accompanied by a lovely glass of wine! I know what my family is eating this weekend!

  3. Taraneh quinn
    November 7, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Glad you are on the mend!!!

  4. Molly
    November 7, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Happy belated anniversary, OK! So sorry about your boo-boo and hope it will heal very nicely for you. Could you give a suggestion for an ingredient to replace the parmesan? This dish looks like something great to bring to my daughter who is a new mom, celiac and lactose intolerant. All I need to do is find a way to add the stickiness and flavour profile the cheese adds.

  5. Merry Miller Moon
    November 7, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Sorry about your pinky Theresa! That really stinks. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes with us! I will be making this recipe-for sure! 🙂

  6. Leslie Diamond
    November 7, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Theresa, thank you for all the treats you share with us. So sorry about your injury. i hope you heal quickly and that all is well…

  7. MJ Guidry
    November 7, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Oh, no! So, so sorry about the pinky. Hope the nail will heal properly. =(

    This looks almost exactly like my recipe for BARLEY risotto. If I may suggest it, instead of the oats (which I plan to try, also) substitute whole barley. I love all things barley, especially the “toothsomeness” (is that a word?) of it. (I rarely make rice risotto any more.) Isn’t barley also Scottish in origin and use?

    Thank you for all you do here. As a lover of all things Outlander, also, I think this is the most interesting thing on the web in that regard. What a gem of a find you are!!

    • Theresa
      November 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I’ve made barley risotto many times. This is something new for everyone to try. 🙂

  8. Beth Euchler
    November 7, 2014 at 8:55 am

    This looks great, but I’m somewhat allergic to oats (they make my throat feel scratchy and irritated). Do you think pearl barley would be good? I’d love to try it!

    • Theresa
      November 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Barley risotto is another one of my faves! You’ll love it!

    • Beth Euchler
      November 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      I made it tonight with the barley. I didn’t have pancetta, so I used some of the canadian bacon that my husband smoked…I was delicious! A big hit with the family! Thanks so much!!!

  9. Shannon
    November 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Could I substitute quinoa? I have a hard time seeing gummy oatmeal as a savory food. Maybe I need to try it once to know…

    • Theresa
      November 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

      It’s always a good idea to try it before passing judgement…quinoa will work, but it never gets creamy like a true risotto…it’s a seed, not a grain, aye?

  10. thompsonpat
    November 7, 2014 at 8:59 am

    you had me at Pancetta 🙂

  11. Ala @ Ala Lemon
    November 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Happy belated blogversary, and sorry to hear about you chopping your pinky. Get well soon!
    Your oat-otto sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it! Unfortunately, we don’t have much choice here when it comes to oats (all packages just label “oats”) so I’ll try do make do with what I have and let you know how it went 🙂

  12. Susan McDonald
    November 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I adore mushrooms, but my husband can’t eat them. Any suggestions for a substitute?

    • Theresa
      November 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Asparagus would be nice! As would butternut squash…when I don`t have anything else, I`ll stir a 1/2 Cup of frozen peas in a risotto just before it’s done.

  13. Jan Anderson
    November 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Oh my goodness….this looks SO good!!! I just salivated while looking at the photo LOL! Can’t wait to try it this weekend 🙂 I love when you do these oat recipes Theresa……oats really agree with my system and my tummy as well as my palate, thank you kindly. Maybe it really is our heritage that dictates what foods agree with us? What do you think?

    I hope your pinky heals quickly…until then let Himself do the dishes!! 🙂 Happy Outlander Anniversary!! I’m re-reading…..again…….for the ?th time…..to help me get through this exptended period of Droughtlander. haha

  14. Barbara O.
    November 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Your recipe sounds really good. It is somewhat similar to one of mine. I served this to a bunch of non-believers in oatmeal but they agreed afterward it was good. Sauté sweet onion in EVOO and Italian seasonings, add 2 Tbsp butter and some sliced crimini mushrooms, continue sautéing until onions are translucent but still a bit firm and mushrooms are warmed through. In a separate skillet, heat a package of large chicken and apple sausage (Al Fresco brand) and make a precooked cup of steel cut oats. When sausages are done, slice, add onions and mushrooms, stir in a bit of fresh parsley and serve. Steel cut oats are more savory to me and my Scots grandmother used to make a porridge with onions and pork bits that I loved.

  15. Lisa Marie
    November 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    In the midst of stirring this up now. Thymeless, I’m using rosemary and serving with spice-rubbed pork chops and asparaguys. 😉

    By the by – LOVE this site. I wanted to write my dissertation on 17th c. literary food (recipes). Didn’t happen. Dropped out. (Best decision of my professional life.) Still might happen.

    Cheers!

  16. Lucia D'Angelo
    November 8, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Glad your injury is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and Happy (hmm) Blogaversary! You delightful posts and delicious recipes have most certainly become favorites: may you continue to prosper.
    Last year you cleared up a question of semantics for me; the difference between Shepard’s Pie and Cottage Pie, and believe me, I have quoted you a number of times.
    Now, I’d like to know if “risotto” can still be used as a descriptive name if there is no rice? I’m confused.

  17. Ashley
    November 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    What do you suggest if you have quick cooking steel cut oats? I assume you wouldn’t need as much time at the stove? But do you also use less stock?

    • Theresa
      November 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      I really don’t know, Ashley. I certainly encourage experimenting, but I’m not entirely sure this recipe will work with quick-cooking oats. It could turn into mush, I’m not sure. If you try, it should cook more quickly, but the amount of stock will be the same.

  18. Linda Yates
    November 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I hate to peel butternut squash almost as much as I love them. So I don’t. roast halves in oven or cut side down in water in the microwave. NO more blood. Love your site.

    • Theresa
      November 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      That’s a good plan — except when you need raw, cubed butternut squash.

  19. Cristin Watts (@Cristin1234)
    November 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Here’s hoping your finger feels better verra verra soon! Cannot wait to try this!

  20. Denise Twist
    November 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Just an addendum to my earlier post – this recipe is FANTASTIC! We loved it and what tiny little leftovers we had, I ate stone cold the next day. So good!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Theresa!

  21. Susan
    December 2, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Sounds yummy, and I have pancetta and mushrooms. Sorry about your finger!

    So, what were you reading? 🙂

    • Theresa
      December 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I believe I was reading Kristen Ashley. 🙂

  22. Barry Carmichael
    January 11, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Tip for Squash….Put entire squash in microwave for appropriate time for size of squash to soften. Cuts like butter. This works for turnip as well(paper towel under turnip if it has wax on it).

  23. Carol Mackey
    March 5, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Grocery List addition (for tomorrow): >garlic cloves; >pancetta (have bacon as backup if nec); > white wine (dry). Have everything else. Probably not your fave thing, but I have found cubed butternut squash in my local produce section . . . just sayin’. I hate peeling it too! by now, you should be all healed–and perhaps just have a few nicks and bruises from your kitchen reno–not serious! Wouldn’t want that to happen! Hope all is (kind of) on schedule. =D

    • Theresa
      March 8, 2015 at 8:50 am

      I just looked at my finger this morning, Carol, and am happy to report its back to 100%

Comments are closed.