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Steelcut Oatmeal with Peach Compote


Is it obvious I love breakfast? Between french toast casserole, cinnamon buns, vintage breakfast biscuits, shakshuka, and even simple bites like this one, I seem to have found my obsession. In keeping with my breakfast trend, here’s another maddeningly simple morning meal option: steelcut oats.


What are steelcut oats? They’re oats, really — but unlike quick oats, which are essentially slices of oats, steelcut oats are like large crumbs. They look more like Grape Nuts than Quaker. They’re also quite firm; they don’t crumble in your hand the way quick oats can. They take about 25 minutes to cook fully, which means you need to have a bit of time to cook’em up. But if you’ve got the time, you’ll be handsomely rewarded: cooked steelcut oats are like a thicker, homier version of grits or polenta, with a distinctly nutty flavor and lovely pot liquor. I also add a pinch of salt to the water for contrast, and a daub of butter at the end, a la Mandy, because it makes breakfast more luxurious. In my humble opinion, oatmeal is best topped with a splash of milk or half and half, and either a dollop of jam or a spoonful of fresh fruit compote. In this case, I used my very last summer peach to make a lovely quick compote that went perfectly with the oatmeal.


These steelcut oats make a lovely break from my weekday morning routine, but oatmeal’s really a splendid breakfast, anyway you cut it.


Steelcut Oatmeal with Peach Compote
1 cup steelcut oats
2 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp butter, optional

In a small pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add oats, stir to incorporate, and turn heat down to low. Let oatmeal simmer, stirring regularly, for about 25 minutes, until water is absorbed and remaining liquid is thick, as with grits or polenta.

While oatmeal is cooking, make peach compote:

1 peach
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup water
splash white wine, optional

Combine all ingredients in a small saute pan. Simmer over medium heat until liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve oatmeal in deep, comfort-food bowls, with cream and peach compote (or jam, or even maple syrup. yum.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sylvie October 26, 2008,

    I’ve only tried steelcut oats once and wasn’t all that keen, but I think I might have undercooked them a little and that that was the reason they tasted strange and not all that pleasant.

  • Milly October 27, 2008,

    I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow… It definitely looks like it deserves to be more work than that!

  • Dana October 27, 2008,

    I’m obsessed with breakfast too, and have been posting breakfast-related dishes lately (maybe it’s the weather?). And I *love* steel cut oats. What a great start to the day!

  • rivka October 28, 2008,

    Sylvie — I also didn’t like them the first time I tried them, and I also think it was because I undercooked them. If you cook them for the full time, they’re actually quite lovely! And yes, it’s really that easy….a true must-try.

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