Wartime Cookery

Picture of War-time Cookery1940

Issued in the National Food Campaign Exhibition 1940


To Save Fuel and Food Value

  1. Keep a vegetable stock-pot with the water from celery, leeks, onions, carrots, potatoes, greens, and other vegetables.Never throw these liquids down the sink; they contain valuable minerals and vitamins, and partly help to make up deficiency in rationed foods.
  2. Use the liquid from boiled vegetables to dilute tinned soups.
  3. When serving soup and vegetables at the same meal, cook the vegetables in the soup.
  4. Steam root vegetables.
  5. Cook potatoes in their jackets.
  6. Save all fat from cooking meat ; refine it and use it for other cooking purposes.

Cook meals as far as possible with one "unit" of heat, e.g. in one large steamer on a low fire or single gas-ring you may cook : a meat roll, steamed jacket potatoes, boiled or steamed suet pudding; or in one oven you may cook: baked meat, casserole of mixed vegetables, fruit pie or pastry, scones.

Introduce into the menu as often as possible the following foods:

Meat Tripe, cow-heel, ox-tail, liver, kidney, hearts, tongues, rabbits, calves' and sheep's heads, fresh bones.

Fats Olive oil, vitaminised margarine, dripping, suet, nuts, fat from boiled mutton and beef, oily fishes (such as herrings, sprats, bloaters), cheese.

Cereals Wheatmeal flour, semolina, barley, oatmeal, macaroni, rice.

Vegetables Carrots, swedes, beets, celery, parsnips, onions, leeks, turnip-tops, spring greens, tinned spinach, dried pulse vegetables, and raw salad vegetables in season.

Fruits Tomatoes, figs, dates, raisins, prunes, dried apricots, currants, and citrons fruits.

Fish Kippers, herrings, bloaters, cod and herring roes, sardines, sprats, mackerel, tinned salmon.



Minced Beef Roll

Make ½lb suet pastry, and roll out to about 3/8th inch thick.
Spread thickly with fresh minced beef mixed with a little chopped potato and onion (tinned beef may be used). Season to taste and moisten the edges then roll up and tie in a cloth, and steam for two hours.
May be served with brown gravy.

Curried Mutton

  • 1 oz dripping or margarine
  • 2 small onions
  • ½ sour apple
  • 1½ oz sultanas
  • 1 dessertspoonful curry powder
  • 1 teaspoonful flour
  • ¾ pint water or celery stock
  • ½lb cooked cold mutton
  • Seasonings
  • Boiled Rice

Fry the finely-chopped onion and apple in the fat; move to one side, and brown the flour and curry powder. Add the stock gradually, then the sultanas, and simmer for five minutes. Cut up the mutton into small squares and heat through in the curry sauce. Serve with a border of boiled rice.

Spiced Beef

  • 2-3lbs silverside
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoonfuls brown sugar
  • Cloves, peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper

Let the butcher put the beef in salt pickle for forty-eight hours. Before cooking, soak for one hour in cold water.
Stick the peeled onion with the cloves, and score it crossways. Place in boiling water with the meat, the carrot cut in pieces, the sugar and seasoning. Boil gently for two-and a-half hours and leave in the liquid to cool. Press and serve cold.

(The liquid makes a good stock for onion, carrot, potato, or tomato soup.)

Meat and Macaroni Pie

Break some macaroni into short lengths and boil in salted water till tender. Make a moderately thick brown gravy with onion, flour, dripping and stock. Add a dash of Worcester or H.P. sauce. Grease an earthenware pie-dish or casserole and fill it up with alternate layers of macaroni and minced cooked meat, pouring gravy over each layer. Sprinkle a little cheese on the top layer of macaroni, and bake in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Beef and Sausage Roll

  • 1¼ lbs minced beef steak
  • ½lb pork sausages or sausage meat
  • 2ozs bread-crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoonful anchovy essence
  • Seasonings

Skin the sausages and mix thoroughly with the beef, bread-crumbs, seasoning, and beaten egg, into a smooth, stiff mixture. Shape on a floured board into two rolls.
Slice finely a small onion and fry in dripping till well brown. Remove from pan and brown the rolls all round in the fat. Remove the rolls and fry a dessertspoonful of flour. Add gradually 1 quart stock or hot water to make a nice gravy. Colour a little if necessary. Replace the rolls in the gravy and simmer for one-and-a-half hours.

Tripe and Liver Hot-Pot

  • ½lb tripe (prepared)
  • ¼lb liver
  • ¼lb beef
  • 1lb potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • Seasoning

Cut the tripe into fairly large pieces ; the beef into small pieces, and slice the liver thinly.
Place in alternate layers in a hot-pot with sliced potato and onion. Season, and add a very little stock or water. Place rounded potatoes and a few small nuts of dripping or margarine on the top. Cover with greased paper or a lid, and bake in a moderate oven for two hours.

Sausage and Tomato Pie

  • 1lb sausages
  • 1lb tomatoes
  • Cold mashed potatoes
  • Seasoning

Scald and skin the tomatoes and cut into halves.
Drop the sausages in boiling water and simmer a quarter of an hour. Skin them and slice in half lengthways. Grease a pie-dish or casserole and place in it alternate layers of sausage and tomato. Cover thickly with mashed potatoes, and bake fifteen to twenty minutes.

(Use the fat from the sausage water for cooking other dishes.)

Curried Beef

  • 4ozs fresh minced beef
  • ½oz flour
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 teaspoonful curry powder
  • 1 onion
  • Seasoning
  • 1oz fat

Fry the onion and minced beef in the fat. Stir in the flour and curry powder and seasoning. Add the potatoes diced small, cover the whole with water and simmer one-and-a-half hours. Serve with boiled rice.

Savoury Roll

  • ½lb potato suet paste
  • 4ozs finely chopped cooked meat
  • 1 teaspoonful chopped parsley
  • 1oz crumbs
  • Seasonings
  • ¼ teaspoonful mixed herbs

Mix altogether, tie in a cloth, steam for one-and-a half hours. Serve with brown gravy.

Carbonade of Beef

  • ¾lb flank of beef
  • 1oz dripping
  • 1 large onion
  • Bay-leaf
  • Cloves
  • Seasonings

Cut the beef into four pieces, coat them in seasoned flour and brown them in the dripping. Remove meat and fry onion lightly, cut in fairly large pieces. Place meat on the onion, cover with stock, add bay-leaf and one or two cloves, and simmer for two hours.
Serve with onion and gravy poured over.

Meat Substitutes, Vegetables and Soups

Beans and Cheese

Soak butter beans overnight in boiling water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Rinse, and boil till tender, aboutone-and-a-half to two hours. Make a white sauce of pouring consistency, add grated cheese.
Put beans in a casserole, pour over the sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese and brown crumbs. Brown in the oven or under the grill.

Vegetable Marrow and Tomato

Peel marrow remove seeds, cut in slices, parboil then saute in hot fat until tender, peel and slice a few tomatoes, arrange on baking dish alternately with sliced marrow, and when the dish is full, season, and, if liked, sprinkle the top with grated cheese or browned crumbs. Baste with gravy, and bake in a hot oven for a few minutes.

Potato Short Bread

  • 3ozs margarine
  • 2ozs rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Little almond flavouring
  • 4ozs warm mashed potato
  • 3ozs flour
  • 2ozs sugar

Cream fat and sugar, then add mashed potato, beat well, then rice flour, salt and flavouring. Take out spoon and with hands lightly press the flour (containing a little baking powder) into the mixture, roll out and bake.

Potato Cheese

Line patty-tins with pasty Mixture :

  • 2ozs fat creamed with 2ozs sugar
  • 2 dried eggs or 1 fresh egg
  • ½lb potato pulp
  • ½ pint milk
  • Almond flavouring
  • 1oz cornflour
  • 2ozs apples, minced and fried slightly in a little fat

Make milk and cornflour into a sauce, work in the eggs, creamed fat and sugar and potato. Put a little jam in bottom of pastry, put mixture on top. If liked, apples may be peeled, cored, cut into sections and placed overlapping on top. Bake about twenty minutes.

Potato Suet Paste

  • ½lb flour – put into a bowl
  • 4ozs chopped suet
  • ¾ teaspoonful baking powder
  • ½ teaspoonful salt
  • ½lb mashed potatoes

Mix well, add ½ lb warm mashed potato, mix all ingredients together. When thoroughly mixed into a paste, [a liquid may be used if required]. The suet may be used for potato pie.

Potato Pie

  • 1oz onion
  • Fat
  • Flour
  • ½ pint water or stock
  • 3ozs cooked meat
  • ¼ teaspoonful mixed herbs
  • ½lb potato
  • Potato Suet Paste

Fry the onion, fat, and a sprinkle of flour together, add ½ pint of water or stock, 3oz cooked meat, trimmings from bones, etc., mixed herbs, and place all into a pan and cook together for a few minutes. Next add ½lb potato which have been cut up (cooked or uncooked), a little more water may be added if necessary, season to taste.
Roll out half the paste, cut into two strips, line the sides of dish [none on bottom] then trim, put mixture in dish, decorate top with slices of partially cooked potato overlapping, put a little dripping on top. Bake about thirty minutes.

Potato Macaroni Pudding

In a bowl put:

  • ½lb mashed potato
  • 2ozs nuts, chopped
  • 1oz fried onion
  • Pinch of mixed herbs
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 1oz cooked chopped macaroni
  • Little chopped parsley
  • 2ozs suet
  • 1 egg
  • 4ozs flour
  • ½ teaspoonful baking powder

Mix very well together, do not make too moist, put into greased basin, steam for one-and-a-half to two hours.
Serve with brown gravy sauce.

Onion and Cheese Pudding

  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 1oz fat
  • 1oz flour
  • Grated cheese

Fry onion. Move to one side, and fry flour. Add 1½ pints water, seasoning, and simmer till onion is tender. Sprinkle strips of bread with grated cheese.
Place in layers in greased pie-dish, pour the soup over, and bake until brown.

Haricot Bean Stew

  • 1lb cooked beans
  • 1oz chopped onion
  • 1oz fat
  • Little chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoonful vinegar

Put fat in saucepan and fry onion, then put beans on top and a little chopped parsley. Cover with stock or water, add pepper and salt and 1 teaspoonful vinegar, and simmer until tender, thicken, boil and serve.
An excellent dish made with beans, peas, lentils, or macaroni.

Vegetable Stew

  • 1lb carrots
  • 1lb turnips
  • 1lb onions
  • ¼lb celery
  • 1lb cabbage
  • 4ozs fat
  • ½oz salt
  • About 1½ to 2 pints water
  • 1 tablespoonful Worcester Sauce

Prepare vegetables and put into pan with hot fat and salt. Mix all together, cover with lid, stirring carefully from time to time until the vegetables are nearly tender, then leave alone until lightly baked at bottom. Then add 1 tablespoonful Worcester sauce, a little pepper, and sufficient water to make gravy about 1½ to 2 pints.
Stew for fifteen minutes longer, then serve.

Oatmeal Sausage

Oatmeal alone can be used [if no meat available or a mixture of oatmeal and meat].

  • ½ pint stock
  • ½oz fat
  • 1oz onion
  • 2ozs shredded suet

Put the fat into the saucepan, and fry the onion, then add the shredded suet, ½ pint stock, 4 z oatmeal ( made up of 2ozs coarse and 2ozs fine), a pinch of mixed herbs finally pepper and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon, and boil until the mixture is like a very thick porridge (normally about ten to fifteen minutes), lastly add 1 tablespoonful Worcester sauce and put mixture on plate to cool slightly. Cut the mixture into six pieces and roll into sausage shapes then coat with batter. Fry in deep fat if possible and serve hot with mashed potatoes.

Cabbage and Rice

Remove the stalk from one young cabbage and finely shred about 6oz of the vegetable. Next take 1oz of chopped onion and fry in 1oz fat, then add the cabbage, ½ gill water, a little salt only [salts are retained in the vegetable].

Bring to boil on a slow fire. When cabbage is half done, put 1oz uncooked rice and ½ gill of water to cover rice, and cook for another twenty minutes slowly.
Then dish.

Vegetable Pie with Mashed Potatoes

Put some mixed pre cooked vegetables into a dish and season. Make brown gravy with ½oz fat, ½oz flour, ¼ pint vegetable stock, seasoning, and a very small amount of grated nutmeg and pour over the vegetables. Cover with a thick crust of mashed potatoes and sprinkle with chopped cheese, and bake.

Pea Soup

(Quick method)

  • 1lb of mixed leeks, onions and celery
  • ½ pint cooked peas [soak overnight with bi-carbonate]
  • 1oz fat
  • Mint

Fry together, put in I pint of cooked peas, minced, and 1 quart of water. Boil until tender, thicken with rice or potato flour, sprinkle a little chopped mint on top.

Onion and Potato Soup

  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large onion
  • ½oz margarine

Chop vegetables small and sauté in fat for ten minutes. Add three teacups of water (or liquid from macaroni, potatoes, or tripe) and cook till vegetables are pulped. Sieve, add 1 teacup of milk, and bind with ½ teaspoonful cornflour. Season, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve with crofitons of brown bread fried in dripping.

Butter Bean Soup

  • 1lb butter beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1oz margarine
  • Slice of bacon
  • 1 pint milk
  • Seasoning
  • Chopped parsley

Soak the beans overnight and squeeze from their skins. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then and cook until quite soft and crush with a wooden spoon.
Cut up the bacon and fry with the sliced onion, in the margarine. Add the bean puree, and simmer for a few minutes. Next add the milk and bring to the boil, serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Tomato Soup

  • 1lb tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small sour apple
  • 1 pint milk and water
  • 1 beef cube or teaspoonful of meat essence
  • 1 tablespoonful sugar
  • Seasoning
  • 1oz margarine
  • 1 teaspoonful cornflour

Shred the onion and apple and fry for five minutes in the margarine. Add the tomatoes cut up, and the sugar and seasoning. Saute ten minutes. Dissolve the meat essence in the milk and water and add to tomatoes. Simmer for ten minutes,sieve, thicken with cornflour and colour with a little carmine.

Puddings and Sweet Dishes

Mixed Fruit Pudding

  • ½lb soaked bread or crusts
  • 1oz flour
  • 4ozs chopped suet
  • 2ozs sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 6ozs mixed fruit, raisins, currants, chopped figs and dates
  • ¼ teaspoonful mixed spice
  • ¼ pint milk

Mix all ingredients very thoroughly and steam in a greased basin for two hours. If made a little moister, the mixture may be turned into a greased pie-dish and baked for three-quarters of an hour.

Date and Apple Pasty

Make a ½lb plain pastry and roll out to 1 inch thick. Line a flat tin, place on it a thick layer of apple and stoned dates finely chopped. Cover with a thin layer of pastry, pressing the edges well down. Bake in a hot oven for a quarter of an hour to twenty minutes.

Syrup Tart

Make 1lb plain pastry. Line plates with pastry a good ¼ inch thick, leaving some paste over for decorating. Fill the centre with golden syrup and sprinkle thickly with soft white crumbs. Decorate with twisted strips of paste and bake till a pale golden brown.

Date and Walnut Loaf

  • ½lb dates
  • 1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ pint boiling water
  • 2ozs margarine
  • 3ozs sugar
  • 1 level teaspoonful baking powder
  • 1-2ozs chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • Salt

Stone the dates and mince or chop them small. Sprinkle with the bicarbonate of soda, pour on the boiling water, and leave to soak. Rub fat in flour, add all other dry ingredients. Add date mixture when cool, and then beaten egg. Put into two greased 1lb. bread-tins, and bake for one-and-a-half hours in slow oven.

Apple Pancakes

Stew 1lb. apples to a soft pulp without sugar. Beat two tablespoonfuls of syrup into the apple. Make batter pancakes in the ordinary way, and serve with a large spoonful of the apple mixture folded into the centre of each.

Fig Charlotte

Stew ½lb figs with a little sugar until very tender and cut into pieces. Mix with 4ozs brown bread-crumbs, 2 ozs finely-chopped fresh suet. Make the mixture soft with the fig syrup. Put in a greased pie-dish and bake for half an hour.
Serve with custard.

Pineapple Salads

Place some inner leaves of lettuce on individual plates and place a pineapple ring (drained of syrup) on each. Arrange small heaps of cream cheese on the Pineapple, and decorate each with a walnut or small cheese wafer biscuit. Place in the centre a cooked prune stuffed with cream cheese.