This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Golden Spurtle aka The Porridge Championships in Carrbridge, Scotland and what a fun and slightly quirky event it was!
The first thing you should know is that the 'spurtle' is the traditional utensil used for stirring the porridge and it's wooden and stick like. I now have one.
Competitors from around the world (all super passionate about porridge) came to compete in the competition.
As the competition has been running for 24 years (there's going to be a big 25 year celebration next year) there is a healthy competitive vibe with some jovial but long standing rivalry and alligencies.
Contestants have the opportunity to enter two categories;
Traditional - just oatmeal (NEVER oat flakes), water and salt. Each competitor has their own way of making the porridge with their own favourite oatmeal and proportions. The 'spurtle' must be used to make the porridge.
Speciality - this can be anything, sweet or savoury - but oatmeal must be used.
There were four heats of 5-6 contestants and they had a maximum of 30 minutes to cook both the traditional and speciality dish.
The incredible thing was the amazing variation in the traditional porridges given that it's just made from three ingredients, proving that oatmeal can greatly vary. Here's a quick overview;
Pinhead/Coarse Oatmeal - is made from cutting the groat into three. Great for making traditional porridge or savoury dishes.
Medium and Fine Oatmeal - is made from grinding Pinhead Oatmeal. Perfect for porridge or baking ie breads or cakes.
The Golden Spurtle 'Speciality' entries were super inspiring and ranged from uniquely flavoured porridges to kedgeree, brulees, bircher oatmeals, risottos etc etc. I can't wait to use Coarse Oatmeal in more savoury dishes as a nutritious replacement for rice.
In the end the traditional category was won by returning speciality champion Ellinor from Sweden who is infectiously passionate about porridge and has no secret formula for the perfect porridge but judges it on her own feeling for it.
The Speciality category was won by fellow Swede, Per and his delicious oatmeal brulee.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Golden Spurtle, the friendly locals, the traditions and most importantly the absolute passion for porridge.
Inspired by the amazing varieties of oatmeal I have created two deliciously warming Autumnal recipes. An Autumn Spiced Oatmeal with beautiful poached pears and Savoury Masala Oats with Chilli Oat Cakes, which is incredibly warming and nourishing.
Here are my recipes, I hope you enjoy!
Autumn Spiced Oatmeal with Poached Pears
- 50g of Mornflake Medium Oatmeal
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch Cloves
- Pinch Cardamon
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 500ml almond milk
Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft
To make the pears;
3 seasonal pears peeled
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or essence
Juice 1 orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 star anise
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Water to cover the pears
Add everything to a medium pan, bring to the boil briefly and gently simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the pears are soft.
Savoury Masala Oats - with Oatmeal Chilli Crackers
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 - 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 knob ginger minced
- 1 carrot chopped finely
- 10 cherry tomatoes sliced
- 150g of Mornflake Coarse Oatmeal
- 2 pints water
- 2 cups peas
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Garam Masala
- Zest 1 lemon
Add the onion and carrot to a large pan with the coconut oil and saute for 10 minutes on a low heat. Add in the spices, garlic and ginger and fry for a further few minutes.
Next add in the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add in the oatmeal and water and then simmer for 25 minutes on a low heat.
Finally peas and season with salt, pepper and lemon zest.
Serve with crackers and top with lots of coriander.View Autumn Spiced Oatmeal with Poached Pears
Chilli Oatmeal Crackers
- 75g cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup of Mornflake Coarse Oatmeal 60g
- 1/2 flaxseeds 100g
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 50g
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds 25g
- 20g lineseeds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 200ml boiling water
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- chilli flakes
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add oil and water and stir to make dough. Rest for 5 minutes.
Put an oven paper on a oven tray and place the dough on the middle. Place another oven paper on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to spread the dough in a thin layer.
Remove the top paper and sprinkle sea salt flakes and chilli over the dough.
Bake in the oven at 150 degrees celsius for 35 minutes.
Mornflake x Rebel Recipes at The World Porridge Making Championships