It’s filling, definitely, and won’t lack for flavor if you choose the right meat. I fried up 16oz of bacon for the “handful of meat” part–which was more than a handful, sure, but what was I going to do with two or three lone bacon strips? To these I added an actual handful of blueberries, because measurements, ha! And also because I hand-picked all those blueberries and am a bit stingy with them. I want the stockpile to last!
Per the recipe, I went with rolled oats….but in the future I’ll go steel-cut. Rolled oats marinating for an hour means gelatinous goo. That’s okay if you don’t mind it (I don’t), but there are a lot of picky eaters in my life. Steel-cut oats may fare better.
Oh! And for the liquid! Definitely need more than the recipe calls for. I started with one cup of water and one 12 oz bottle of Loch Down beer, but then added about 9oz more water (filled the beer bottle back up to neck with water and poured in) because it was looking too dry. Loch Down is a scotch ale and not the “weak ale” they called for, it’s true. But again: standards, people. I’m not going to dump some filthy Bud Lite into my cooking pot, and I’d rather drink motor oil than an IPA. So scotch ale it is. And its flavor meshes beautifully with the bacon!
Re:apples, next time I will slice them up instead of just inserting fourths. The apple spoonfuls were considerably better than those which lacked apples. I figured at the time, “well it doesn’t say slice them, and would a busy cook at the Hanged Man bother to do it?” But the answer is yes. Yes they would. Because it’s that much better.
In short though, this is probably a very Varric-friendly dish. (Speaking of Varric, he was by far the best of the latest dragon age tea haul–but more on that later!) Saves and heats up again well, too, for the morning after a hard night’s “historic beers of Scotland” sampling. Now all I need is some Tylenol…