I’ve been in a breakfast rut for aboouuut 10 years. It involves peanut butter on an English muffin and I’m happy here. I mean, I can be tempted out of it pretty easily with a pancake or something in that genre, but I can live without cereal or grits or oatmeal. But then Jay made steel cut oats a few weeks ago and changed my breakfast life.
I mean, I like oatmeal, but to be honest when I eat it I have a nostalgic hankering for the instant packets…and if you eat two of them, which of course you do, that’s two tablespoons of added sugar (which is the entire recommended daily amount for women, according to the American Heart Association). And there are much more interesting sugar-laden things to eat than oatmeal, of all things.
But steel cut oats are so different. They don’t really even remind me of instant oatmeal. They’re creamy and a little chewy and have flavor of their own without needing a ton of sugar to make them palatable. Yes, they take about 30 minutes to cook…but it’s mostly hands-off and you can make one pot and eat it all week long! I really didn’t believe the hype that you could reheat oatmeal and not gag, but with a splash of milk steel cut oats are just as good leftover as they are the first day. It’s kind of a breakfast miracle.
And at our house, the best part is that Jay is the steel cut oats chef! Here’s what he does:
Melt a pat of butter in a pot and toast the oats for a couple of minutes.
Pour in boiling water and cook, covered, at a low simmer for 25 minutes. When you take the lid off, the liquid will have risen to the top, but you can start to see the creaminess that’s happening!
Give it a stir, and cook a few more minutes until the oatmeal is thick and creamy. We like our oats to have a little bite, but you can cook a little longer for softer oatmeal.
I like mine with just a little maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins, and a splash of milk or half-and-half. Jay’s favorite combination is sliced banana with toasted nuts and coconut. And it’s honestly unreal how good these make-ahead steel cut oats are when you warm up the leftovers! Reheating takes even less time than toasting an English muffin. Make ahead breakfast is a good, good thing.
Psst! If you like the idea of these creamy, chewy steel cut oats but are short on time – try Scottish oats! They only take 10 minutes to cook!Print
- 1-2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 6 cups boiling water
- salt to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
- milk or cream for serving
- delicious toppings, such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts, brown sugar or maple syrup
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the oats and stir to toast them, 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully add the boiling water and bring to a low, controlled simmer (on our stove, this is on the low side of medium-low). If it’s simmering too vigorously, the oats will stick to the bottom of the pot. Simmer, covered and undisturbed, 25 minutes.
- At this point, check the oats, add a big pinch of salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon), and stir – you don’t want them to be soupy. Continue to cook and stir on medium-low for 2-5 more minutes, until they are thick and creamy and reach your desired consistency and doneness. The oatmeal will thicken quickly as it stands.
- Serve with your favorite toppings!
This makes a large batch – you need a couple of committed oatmeal-eaters for this quantity! You can easily cut the recipe in half.
To reheat, add enough milk to thin and warm in the microwave – leftovers are just as good!! The leftover oatmeal with be thick – it will stay together in a big hunk when you carve out a scoop into your bowl. I just add some milk and chop it up a little with my spoon, and microwave for 1 minute. At that point, it’s getting soft and creamy again and you can stir to smooth it out, add more milk if you want, and heat for about another 30 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown