April Bloomfield's English Porridge

By • April 9, 2013 • 41 Comments



Author Notes: This porridge is just right. Bloomfield calls for equal parts of two styles of oats, which means the steel-cut bits keep their pop, while the rolled oats melt around them -- and getting them to the perfect texture only takes 20 minutes. Cooking with half milk, half water is enough to make it feel rich and loving, without slogging you down first thing in the morning. This will seem like a lot of salt. But it won't be too much, because at the end you'll add something sweet and something milky and it will all live in harmony. Adapted slightly from A Girl and Her Pig (Ecco, 2012)Genius Recipes

Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk, plus a few generous splashes
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Maldon, or other flaky sea salt (if using finer salt, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add to taste)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • About 2 tablespoons sugar (maple, brown, or white) or maple syrup
  1. Combine the milk, water, and salt in a medium pot (a 2-quart pot should do it) and set over high heat. As soon as the liquid comes to a gentle simmer, add both kinds of oats and lower the heat to medium.
  2. Cook the oats at a steady simmer, stirring frequently and lowering the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer.
  3. After about 20 minutes at the simmer, the rolled oats will have turned a bit mushy, while the steel-cut oats will be just tender and pop when you bite them.
  4. Taste for seasoning -- it should be on the salty side. Add sugar or syrup. Spoon the porridge into warm bowls and let it sit for a minute. Then carefully pour a little cold milk around the edges of each bowl, so it pools all the way round. Sprinkle a five-fingered pinch of sugar or drizzle the syrup in the center of each and let it melt, then serve right away.

Comments (41) Questions (0)

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3 months ago Alba

"English" porridge? I hear millions of Scots laughing. Traditionally eaten with very thick cream and nothing else. It's the salty kick that is authentic. However, great with chopped almonds or dates or flavoured, slightly, with cardamon or mastic.

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3 months ago Alba

I should add it needs to be well cooked and smooth. It absorbs a lot of liquid such as milk or water. There should be no lumps. Best cooked over night in a slow cooker.

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4 months ago Joyce

I cook steel cut oatmeal in my crockpot in a 4 qt glass measuring jug surrounded by water for 12-14 hours. The next time I will use 50/50 oats and see what happens.

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5 months ago blindowl

thanks, Valentina!!! :)

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5 months ago Valentina Solfrini

I think I know where that bowl comes from...I have one just like that :) It's a common item in japanese houseware shops. If you are in NY, it can be found at the Sunrise Mart (I got mine at the one near St. mark's) or at Mitsuwa marketplace over in NJ. It should be easy to find online, too.

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5 months ago Jennifer Maestas

I will make this for my husband who hearts oatmeal everyday of his life...I on the other hand dislike oatmeal but heart the bowl!

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5 months ago cassandra greene

sounds wonderful but where did you get the gorgeous bowl? Cassandra Greene

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5 months ago blindowl

bowl envy!

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5 months ago Manhattan Tart

Have made this several times now by chucking all ingredients into the pot, letting them soak for however long I've got (30 min. max) then bringing to a boil, reducing to strong simmer and stirring. Works like a charm. Lovely cooked w/ a diced apple (as P Walters did...thanks!) and a splash of vanilla. Keeps great in the fridge.

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5 months ago elise maiberger

Winter means oatmeal. I am breaking my grain-free diet and indulging for 1 week.
Signed,
Temporarily egged-out.

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6 months ago Cat

Nice touch combing the two oats for the chewy/creamy balance! For an easy head-start for all whole-grain cereals, soak in partial amount of cooking water in the pan the night before. Only don't add the salt until morning as I've read it inhibits the fermentation that contributes to better digestion.

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6 months ago Patricia Walters

We use almond or coconut milk and cook it with a cut up apple. The apple and berries are my only sweetener, too.

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6 months ago Gunners Mom

I have been making some for years.I make enough to last all week,just reheat so good!

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6 months ago BadCat

With the cold snap I've been looking for something that would be both hot and sustaining. This is both! I omitted the salt entirely as I thought that it made it far too salty. So easy to make in the morning before school.

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8 months ago Lemongrass&Lime

Delicious and will be going into regular rotation at my place. What a lovely idea to combine steel cut and rolled oats. Beautiful texture. I grew up on porridge and would often stir in a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter and some honey into mine. Now I prefer it with fresh berries and no sweeteners.

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8 months ago happyxbelly

Oh this was beautiful. This porridge is much more than "just right". I posted it on my blog on how it's like falling in love -- http://happyxbelly.blogspot...

Thanks so much for this recipe - it's perfect!

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about 1 year ago JadeTree

We love this! Oatmeal had fallen from favor last year but this has revived it. The full isle of salt was too much for us, so we do a generous 1/2 tsp. divine with the brown sugar and toasted pecans. This is our oatmeal recipe now!

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about 1 year ago SuSanFran

I coated the sides of the slow cooker with just a little bit of canola oil, and I had very little problem with oatmeal sticking to the sides. Great recipe - this will be my go to oatmeal from now on.

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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Just tried this with almond milk, and it's delicious!

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8 months ago Midge

Thanks for suggesting almond milk drbabs. Loved it, with some toasted hazelnuts on top.

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about 1 year ago pursnl

Stirring (with silicone whisk) makes for creamy/nutty texture. I reduced salt to 1tsp and found it just lovely.

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about 1 year ago kath1

If you soak it overnight (without the salt) it'll cook in 5-10 minutes (depending how much you make). The longer you cook it the stickier it gets, the more you stir it the creamier.

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about 1 year ago KatieFioreSkinnyChef

I think the key to good oatmeal, is to stir it constantly. Cook it like risotto.

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about 1 year ago Manhattan Tart

Fabulous texture, even using 2% milk. It IS a bit too salty for our liking, and I used only 1 full tsp. of Maldon. My daughter LOVED this -- and joked about Three Bears and Little Miss Muffet while consuming an entire large bowl. Can't wait to make it again -- maybe every winter morning.

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about 1 year ago hannah2111

Would this work in a slow cooker or would the rolled oats get overlooked?

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about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I haven't tried it myself, so I'd love to hear if someone has. I wouldn't worry about the rolled oats getting overcooked -- they're supposed to melt into the porridge while the steel-cut oats keep a bit more texture.

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about 1 year ago hannah2111

I think I'll give it a go and see what happens. Hopefully it works out well!

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about 1 year ago hannah2111

I tried it... IT'S AMAZING! Made twice the amount and left it in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low. The texture is beautiful and it keeps really well (like all oatmeal).

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about 1 year ago Reebs

Hi, I tried this as well, and although the flavor was incredible and the technique a time saver, I lost a lot of oatmeal to the sides of the crock...and it is also impossible to clean. Any suggestions?

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6 months ago SuSanFran

I've found it only needs 4 hours or so in the slow cooker, and then you don't lose any oatmeal to the sides of the crock. Creamy.

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about 1 year ago Rivertree kitchen

I make mine with a handful of dried cherries added during the cooking so they'll plump up, and a splash of vanilla. And yes, it does reheat well.

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about 1 year ago GordonW

Can you elaborate on why we should use sea salt instead of table salt? Is there a discernible taste difference?

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about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

You can taste subtle differences in salts (even in different varieties of sea salt), when using them to finish dishes -- less so when mixed with other flavors. So you could use table salt here, just note that If you do (or any fine salt), you should start with much less and add to taste.

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about 1 year ago Deborah D

can I make this recipe in the crockpot?

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about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

See my answer to hannah2111 above!

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about 1 year ago flavoristabarr

I'm going to try this is a rice cooker with an all day soak of the steel cut oats in water. Sounds great.

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about 1 year ago hannah2111

Let me know how this goes and what your recipe is! It would be so much easier to do this in a slow cooker but I'm worries the rolled oats will get too mushy!

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over 1 year ago deana@lostpastremembered

I made this for breakfast and have now done it 4 or 5 times since reading the recipe a few weeks ago. It is great. The only warning is to stir it, don't neglect to do that. It will scorch on the bottom of the pan if you just let it be.

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over 1 year ago Solis Lujan

Will try this 50/50

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over 1 year ago SpaCook

Looks delicious! Does this do well when halved, do you think?

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over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Sure, in a smaller pot. But leftovers reheat well!