Monday, January 25, 2010

'Burns' the Scots bard, or burns the fat? You decide!

Ach aye! It’s ‘Burns night’, the one night of the year where we dish out the haggis and dance around with a wee dram o’ whiskey (um, which you will need after eating the haggis…) Ooh yes, and for those of you not familiar with the Scottish bard, you can just take my word for it!


Anyhoo, if you did have a ‘Burns supper’, let me suggest you get an early night and plan to eat a ‘fat burning’ breakfast to get you going in the morning after all that haggis. Don’t be fat with Burns, burn the fat!


Doctors also tell us that oatmeal lowers cholesterol and provides us with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidents. So put away the kilt for another year and start your day off right by adding a few power packed walnuts containing Omega 3 fatty acids with a handful of vitamin rich cranberries. Feeling better? Now, with all that guilt free goodness in your breakfast bowl you can afford a ‘wee’ drop of sweet whiskey sauce to pour over the top and start you day off in the most delicious and healthy way! Speaking from experience I recently dropped more than a few pounds and I am not just sharing a recipe secret, but the best kept one for loosing weight! Blueberries and strawberries are of course not in season but they also are another healthy fat burning topping! Check it out! Time to do away with the deep fried mars bars and heavy fried starches often associated with Scottish food and rethink with another recipe from the Ulster Kitchen to break the myth!..


Go ahead and cook Ulster-Scots, sure wee Robbie Burns would be proud!...


Ulster-Scots Oatmeal with Cranberries and whiskey sauce

(serves 4)

  • 7 oz (1 cup) organic steel cut Scots or Irish Oats
  • 1 pint (2 cups) spring water
  • 1 pint (2 cups) milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp dried cranberries (roughly chopped)
  • 2 ½ oz toasted walnuts (chopped)

Sweet Whiskey Sauce

  • 6 oz ( ¾ cup) butter
  • 5 oz (3/4 cup) fine granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp Irish Whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream


1. Bring water, milk and salt to simmering point in a medium heavy based saucepan. Slowly stir in the steal cut oats, sprinkling lightly so the grains do not stick together in clumps.

2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the oatmeal begins to thicken. After about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until oatmeal is cooked, remembering to stir several times.

3. To make the whiskey sauce combine the butter, water and sugar in a medium heavy based saucepan and stir on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the beaten egg yolk, whiskey, vanilla and heavy whipping cream.

4. Strain sauce in to a wee jug.

5. To enjoy the traditional way, serve the porridge in small individual bowls steaming hot, with the whiskey sauce and cranberries and toasted walnuts on top.


Judth the I F,.

(*oh, and as ever, if you want to print this recipe for your own kitchen I suggest cutting and pasting this entry into Word and printing, otherwise we will never replenish the Scottish highlands with those fabled trees from the Braveheart movie at all!)


  1. Judith -

    I love your blog so much! Not only is it about one of my favorite topics but it's funny & clever too. (Not to mention a BEAUTIFUL layout).

    I love oatmeal. I eat it almost everyday. I want to come up with a way to make the oatmeal like you have listed but without any milk products. We do have our own milk that works great but the heavy cream - I don't have a good replacement for that. Can you suggest a tweaked version?

    Michelle Tompkins

  2. Judith, We love oatmeal at our house, but I have never tried the steel cut oats, are they thicker? When we eat oatmeal with 5 of us we use a chip and dip tray to customize our own bowl. Check it out

    I'm looking forward to working with you in a couple of weeks at Salud.

  3. I stopped by to see if you had a recipe for something and no index! Judith, you need an index! Just the same, I've scrolled through a few pages and am finding much inspiration here!


Feel free to leave me a comment on the food, or any other aspect of Irishness. Enjoy!