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Risotto of Irish Oats

Risotto of Irish Oats


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup diced double-smoked bacon

  • 1 shallot, finely diced

  • 1/2 pound mixed wild mushrooms

  • 1 teaspoon good white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 2 cups steel-cut Irish oats

  • 4 cups Caldo del Día or chicken stock, heated

  • 1/2 cup Irish Cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 2 tablespoons Irish butter

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Warm the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Sauté until golden brown. Add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, cook for 30 seconds, then add the white wine. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. The mushrooms should be moist and there should still be a little liquid in the bottom of the pot. Toss in the oats, then a ladleful of the caldo and stir with a rubber spatula. As the oats absorb the liquid, add in a bit more just as you would to make a risotto, stirring the whole time. Stirring helps the starch in the oats come together and lends a nice creamy texture to the risotto. Once the oats are fully cooked through, about 15 minutes, fold in the cheese, then the butter. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with a fried egg, if you like, and a sprinkling of parsley. Think of this as a main course that’s perfect paired with a salad.