Porridge is always a breakfast staple for me especially when the weather gets cooler. But on a recent trip to Scotland, I realised porridge is taken seriously there. Like, no joke - forget quick oats, packet porridge, or pre-flavoured oatmeal. The Scots keep their porridge honest. No processing, no mucking around. And funnily enough, when you simplify the humble oat and keep it whole without any processing whatsoever, it reigns supreme above all other versions of itself.
Now that we have the perfect porridge oat, we have to get the perfect porridge-cooking liquid. And that would be water. Nothing fancy, just tap water will do. Why not milk? You gotta cook this bad boy for around an hour and milk tends to go goopy and gluggy. The trick to having ultra-creamy porridge without the goop is adding the milk last and only until it just heats through. And you avoid all those gross, thick milk skins that form on top of pots…makes me cringe just thinking about it. Also as a hot tip, cook a batch on Monday without adding the milk and fridge the left overs for the rest of the week - add your milk when you heat it up each day!
Then after you have poured over this labour of love for an hour, you don't want to screw it up with sub-par toppings do you? No way! So I decided to go with the Scottish traditionalists and pop a gooooood sprinkling of brown sugar on top with a delicious perfectly curled whip of butter that seemed as though it had just been waiting for the day where I'd come and scoop it up for my porridge.
Did I mention that I reallllly like butter? You're right, two curls of butter ain't gonna hurt! Give it a few seconds to melt and ooze into your perfect little mountain of hot and creamy porridge. Then there's nothing left to do except dig in and enjoy the buttery, sweet goodness that only a piping hot bowl of oats can give you.
Oh, and wash the dishes..
3 cups of water
1 cup of whole oat 'groats'
A good pinch of salt
1 cup of milk
Choice brown sugar (optional)
Place groats, water, and salt into a pan and simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
Check on the water level in the pan at 45 minutes, turn the heat up slightly if there is still more than a cup's worth
At 55 minutes, place the milk into the pan mixing well to combine the oats and milk
Simmer for 5 minutes
Serve into bowls with your favourite topping such as butter and brown sugar