Breakfast #46: Steel Cut Oats with Muscovado Glazed Bacon

I haven’t shared any breakfast here in a while…shame on me. After all, this blog is named after breakfast, and I did make a resolution to post more of them. So far, relatively speaking (and that is relative to my own historic posting frequency), I have been able to post more breakfasts that I did in the previous year – and average of at least once a month, compared to a dismal four breakfast posts for the whole of last year! And, as of today, I already have more posts in total than in 2010. I know I am far from a prolific blogger, with only one post a week, but I feel good that I’ve reached some of the goals I have set in January (that new look for my blog still remains a hopeful dream). Slow and steady wins the race they say, and I’m hoping they weren’t lying!

And where all this quantification came from I have no clue. Could it be as the end of this year comes undeniably closer? Ssshhh...Let's not rush it!

Anyway, onto breakfast. I posted about savory oatmeal before. I love oatmeal in all its incarnations so having another way to enjoy it is always welcome. One of my readers commented saying that she might like a sweet and savory type oatmeal and I thought, “Why not?” I whipped up a bowl of oats topped with crispy bacon and drizzled with honey…simple and delicious. And that's where this version comes from.

Steel Cut Oats with Muscovado Glazed Bacon
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan.
- Once it boils add the steel cut oats, give it a stir, and then cover. Cook stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick until cooked to your liking. Some like it chewier than others. Add more water if it starts looking too dry.
- While the oatmeal is cooking lay the bacon strips flat on a plate. Sprinkle muscovado sugar on one side. You can be very flexible here, adding as much or as little sugar as you want. My bacon isn’t totally coated, but I wouldn’t say the sugar is sparse either. I like a good, even, generous sprinkling. Now, crack some black pepper over the sugar. Repeat with the other side.
- Rub or spray a non-stick skillet with a scant amount of oil and heat over high heat. When the pan is hot lay bacon strips on it and bring heat a touch down to medium. Cook until sugar is nice and caramelized and coating the bacon in a totally alluring way -- but not too crisp! The sugar will harden as the bacon cools so you don’t want to overdo it.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to a wooden chopping board. Let it cool for a bit (just a minute or two). It will stiffen and transform into a heavenly sort of bacon candy – you could eat it as is now and your life would never be the same again…but wait, there’s oatmeal!
- Chop the bacon into bite-size pieces. Divide your hot oatmeal in two bowls. Top with bacon. Enjoy!

Unlike my bowl of bacon honey oatmeal, the it's the bacon itself here that is sweet, almost candied. I would be a liar if I told you that I didn’t want to just grab all that caramelized bacon in my hands and eat it even before the oatmeal was done. But I resisted (for now!) and was left with a bowl of breakfast awesomeness that is both sinful and saintly. Here’s some optional advice: If you like your oats sweet with a touch of salty, add some honey to your oatmeal before topping with bacon. If you like it savory with a touch of sweet, add a pinch of salt to your oats as they cook.

Speaking of goals I set in January I am happy to report that, aside from the elusive blog look makeover, I have made decent headway on each. Aside from posting more often, and more breakfasts, I have also explored new ways to share my love for food more of you. I now have a regular column in my favorite local food magazine, and I have (despite my extreme nervousness) managed to go on about my pet cause of using leftovers (another resolution) on TV!

This may not seem like a packed year so far but between a regular day job (which is, by the by, not food-related or writing-related at all and has nothing to do with this blog), time with family and friends, and time for myself, it is a lot for me. And to all of you who know the drill, who go to bed tired from a stressful day of work, wondering if you did everything right between your job and your family, and if you even have the energy to, this is for you. For you, from me. You can.

And if you don’t believe me? Just sprinkle some sugar on your bacon tomorrow and tell me if you can’t move mountains afterwards ;)