Skirlie is a Scottish oatmeal dish that's usually made as a side dish for stovies or stew, as a stuffing,
or stirred through mashed potatoes to give them a bit of crunch.
It's also not a bad way to cook oatmeal for breakfast (as is regular savoury porridge by the way),
but like the Scots themselves it's a bit dour on its own, so you'll need to add some flavourings.
Traditionally it's made with dripping or lard, onions and oats (not rolled though - you need pinhead or medium/fine oatmeal),
but you can make it with butter, oil, or even shredded suet if you're using it as stuffing (in which case you may not need to fry it up first).
Personally I find the version made with pinhead oats a bit too crunchy to eat as a stand-alone dish, so I cook some stock into it to soften it at the end.
A Savoury Porridge
Quite a decent breakfast if you add enough flavouring.
Serves 2 for breakfast, or 4 as a side dish
If all you have is rolled oats you could make the same dish but without bothering with frying the oats
- just add water (or stock) and cook them as for porridge.
A savoury porridge. Without the sugar.
- 50g butter/dripping/lard
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup/4 oz/120g pinhead or medium oatmeal
- salt & pepper
- bacon or chorizo, chopped or sliced
- tomatoes, roughly chopped
- cheese, grated
- herbs, chopped
- fried eggs
- crème fraîche
In a heavy frying pan heat the fat and soften the finely chopped onion without browning them overmuch.
Add the oatmeal, season with salt and a generous pepper grinding, and stir to coat thoroughly.
Cook over a very low heat, stirring frequently, until the oats soften and taste a little toasty (about 10 minutes for medium, 20 for pinhead).