There are few holidays that excite me more than St. Patrick’s day. The allure of hanging with friends at the crack of dawn, imbibing on Guinness and Irish whiskey, and snacking on black pudding— a form of blood sausage, is too great for me to ignore. And this year will be no different, as I constantly look up at the calendar to see how many days remain until the day comes.
In the last year I’ve been trying to like whiskey. Drinking it makes me feel prim, proper, genteel. Don’t be surprised — you know I’m weird like that. Luckily, all of my insistence has paid off and I’m starting to get a taste for it, picking out nuances and allying with favorites. Jameson Irish whiskey is very easy to drink; it’s super smooth and slightly sweet with a creamy finish. If you’re just beginning to try whiskey, I’d recommend this one as a primer.
Sometime in the winter I saw a recipe for boozy oatmeal, which included whiskey or bourbon (can’t for the life of me remember where I saw it!), which I immediately thought was utterly magnificent. Pretty soon afterwards I made my own hurried and messy concoction, on several blustery nights, and fell hard in love with the combination of sweet, sticky syrup + throat-warming whiskey/bourbon. I ate this always in my pj’s on the couch around 9 p.m., when fleshy yearning struck.
I never got around to posting about it then but am now since it’s too good not to be shared. And since St. Patty’s day is just around the corner I thought it apropos to adapt it slightly to match the jovial and festive nature of the times. Warm your tummy up with a bowlful of this ante-morning drinks to steel yourself for an entire day of merriment.
Sticky Irish porridge with dark brown sugar + whiskey
Toasting the oats before softening reinforces the natural nutty flavor while the hybrid evaporated milk and water simmering liquid make it voluptuously creamy.
Makes enough for several comrades to enjoy pre- St. Patrick’s day festivities
To prepare oats —
1 cup McCann’s steel cut Irish oatmeal
2 cups evaporated milk
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
To prepare porridge (per serving) —
1 cup cooked Irish oatmeal
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)
First make the oatmeal. In a large fry pan, toast the oats over medium-high heat until fragrant and nutty, about 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Set aside.
Grab a medium sauce pot and fill with the evaporated milk, water and cinnamon stick; bring to the boil. Add the toasted oats and stir. Let this come back up to a boil and stir constantly until mixture gets a little thicker than it started, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to simmer and leave uncovered, stirring every 7-10 minutes. It takes about 25-30 minutes for the oats to cook properly and absorb the liquid.
At this point, you can choose to cover and stash in the fridge for later or eat right away. To serve, pour a cup of the oatmeal into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and evaporated milk. You want this piping hot so zap in the microwave if it’s cooled down. Right before you eat it, drizzle in the spot of whiskey and sprinkle with additional cinnamon.