A Scottish dish, made from oatmeal, fried with fat, onion and seasonings
Try skirlie yourself – it’s easy to make
Whilst you can buy ready-made skirlie in butchers and supermarkets across Scotland it’s better homemade. If you want to cook it yourself, there are many internet recipes available. Here’s a good one provided by Scots food blogger Graeme Taylor. You can follow more of his recipes on his blog ‘A Scots Larder’.
Skirlie is one of those wonderful Scottish words that’s just so descriptive, and my introduction to it was during my vegetarian days when Dad made it as an alternative to stuffing for me on Christmas Day. It is perfect for this purpose, as well as being good for stirring through mash.
A word of caution, make sure you are using pinhead or medium oatmeal. Elsewhere in the world, they are called steel-cut oats. Whatever you do don’t used rolled oats. It simply won’t work and you’ll miss out on the slight crunch skirlie should have. And be warned, if you are calorie counting or on a low-fat diet beware. This is calorie-laden with 219 kcal and 9.4g of fat in one serving. But all good things have a drawback.
Finally, don’t confuse skirlie with the noise a bagpipe makes. That’s a skirl and they are definitely very different things. However, some suggest that skirlie is given that name because the oats make a squealing and wailing noise as you chase them around the frying pan.
This post has been written to celebrate Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight 2020.