Porridge made from Irish oats, also called steel-cut oats, takes longer to cook, typically 15-20 minutes.
- Mix oats and water, then bring to the boil covered with a lid.
- Once bubbling, stir and reduce temperature to the lowest possible to maintain simmering. Replace lid and watch carefully to prevent boiling over.
- Stir every minute or so. After five minutes, remove lid, stir thoroughly and add milk.
- Mix through, and keep stirring until fully mixed.
- Serve and add raisins, sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, a pinch of salt, honey or inverted sugar syrup to taste.
Tips and Variations
Soak whole grains over night and change water. Soaking softens the grains and reduces cooking time, although whole oats still require 45 - 60 minutes simmering. Rinsing also reduces starch and pesticide residue. Steel cut oats should simmer for 20-30 minutes, or to the desired texture. Let the water boil out for a chewier, rice like flavor with whole oats or leave some water in as is common with rolled oats and instant oats.
Porridge can be made using only water, only milk, or a whichever mixing of the two depending on taste. Other ingredients may include butter, dates, bananas, apples and cinnamon. Add apples and cinnamon during the cooking process to infuse the flavor. If you want to avoid milk products, it is also possible to use soy milk instead of cow's milk. Corn oil also works well with honey and figs, out of the vegetable oils. Honey itself combines well with apples and cinnamon while raisins, dates and bananas are popular with dairy ingredients. Winter squash can be added to finer grains like wheat and millet.
Porridge was traditionally cooked over a wooden fire and in a cast iron pot which prevents burning and doesn't interfere with the flavor. In modern times, any pot will do as long as it is thick enough to distribute the heat. Instant oats are the easiest and fastest to cook as they only need boiling water and as this may be also done with a microwave oven.