When our team was in Scotland, we kept our eyes out for fun new ways to use oats. While haggis does use oats, it’s not exactly something we felt the need to perfect. What we did find was a fun dish called Skirlie; a dish that uses oats to create a savory stuffing or risotto-like side. The ingredients in this recipe are merely suggestions and the Scottish variations we found were endless. Most recipes use steel cut oats, but I found several that used regular rolled oats and some that called for combinations of different oats. I liked the idea of keeping it simple with steel cut oats.
This dish turned out fantastic! It was savory and chewy with a bit of creaminess. Using oats as the grain in this dish created a creaminess not normally possible without the addition of milk. If you’re looking for a unique dish to bring to your Thanksgiving feast, we recommend this one. It’s easy, it’s made with whole grains, and- let’s face it- skirlie is just plain fun to say.
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (Regular or Gluten Free)
2 cups Vegetable Broth
1-2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 medium Shallots, diced
1 tsp each: fresh Thyme leaves, Rosemary (chopped), Sage (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Place vegetable broth and oats in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir regularly. The oats will continue to thicken; cook for at least 20 minutes to reduce the liquid, longer if desired.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the shallots and garlic. Reduce heat to low. Cook until caramelized or lightly browned (stir often over low heat), about 15-20 minutes.* Add herbs and continue to cook for 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the shallot mixture to oats and stir to combine. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.
Yield: 2 generous or 4 modest servings.
*The trick to this recipe is patience. It took me years to figure out how to perfectly caramelize shallots and onions. The key, it turns out, is to cook them over low heat and stir often. This process takes a bit longer than a busy cook would like, but it’s worth it. Instead of bumbling through some directions for you, I found a great guide for making perfect caramelized onions at Simply Recipes and even more pictures and step-by-step instructions here at All Recipes.
Other Skirlie recipes:
Traditional Scottish Skirlie
Skirlie Mirlie (this one doesn’t use oats, but it’s even more fun to say) This recipe uses turnips and potatoes to create savory mash.
Skirlie Mash (potatoes and skirlie)