Good Fare in War-time


Weight for weight of flesh all cuts of meat are of approximately equal value in body-building material, but more care in cooking is necessary to make the cheaper cuts appetising and palatable. In some cases the flesh of the cheaper cuts is coarse and contains a good deal of gristle, thus taking longer time to cook. If, however, the meat is brushed over with a little vinegar or cut in small pieces or minced (by the butcher) the time for cooking can be reduced.

Some of the cheaper cuts may lack savour, but the addition of savoury stuffings* and vegetables (cooked with the meat) not only adds to the flavour but also helps to make the meat go further. Some typical recipes are given below.

Cheaper Parts of Meat

Meat Cut Method of Cooking
Beef Brisket Bake, stew or braise
Flank Bake, stew or braise
Clod Stew, hot-pots, puddings, pies and soup
Sticken Stew, hot-pots, puddings, pies and soup
Shin Stew, hot-pots, puddings, pies and soup
Skirt Stew, hot-pots, puddings, pies and soup
Mutton Breast Stuff and bake
Neck Stew
Pork Pickled Stew (with rabbit), oatmeal, potato and other vegetable dishes
Veal Breast Stuff and bake
Neck Stew
Knuckle Stew and soup
Veal Pieces Stew, soup, puddings, pies

The aitch bone, flank and brisket of beef, and the breast of mutton and veal, may be baked. For good results, place in a covered tin with a little water and fat, and cook in a really hot oven for 20 minutes. Finish cooking very slowly for a long time basting frequently. The aitch bone is economical if a large family joint of 6 lb. or more is required.

Time for cooking: — At least 30 minutes for each pound and 30 minutes over.

Baked Brisket of Beef

Wash the meat and put into a baking tin with ½ teacupful of water and a little dripping; cover with another tin to prevent the escape of the steam. Cook very quickly for 20 minutes and then very slowly. Time allowed, 30 minutes to the lb. and 30 minutes over or even longer if the meat appears to be tough. Baste from time to time.

Serve with:
(a) Potatoes or Parsnips cooked in the pan with the meat.
(b) Yorkshire Pudding; or
(c) Plain Suet Dumpling which may be steamed or baked.

Note: — Adopt similar method for Aitch bone or Flank.

* For Oatmeal Stuffing see page 6.

Brisket (Braised)

    1 table-spoon Fat or Bacon Pieces Carrot and Turnip 2 lb Brisket Salt and Pepper About ½ pint Water or Pot Liquor

Heat the fat in a stewing-pan, add meat and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan, put in sliced vegetables and cook for 7-10 minutes. Place meat on top, cover with margarine paper, add seasoning and pot liquor and cook very slowly with lid on for about 2 hours. Serve very hot.


  1. Use as for Rabbit Mould on page 12.
  2. Pressed Brisket. To serve cold, lift out meat and remove bones. Press between two plates or in a pie dish until cold. Serve with salad or use for sandwiches.

Stuffed Breast of Mutton

  • Breast of Mutton (2 lb)*
  • 2 ozs Oatmeal Stuffing [see page 11]

Bone meat and use bones for stock or gravy. Remove surplus fat and render down. Spread meat with stuffing, roll up and tie securely. Bake for about 11 hours basting from time to time. Serve hot with thickened gravy and vegetables, or cold with salad.

*Adopt the same method for veal.

Melt and Skirt Pudding

  • lb Skirt
  • 2 Carrots (sliced)
  • ¼ lb Melt (or Liver or Ox Kidney)
  • 1 gill of Pot Liquor or Water, [4 to a pint]
  • 1 table-spoon Seasoned Oatmeal
  • Seasoning
  • 1 medium Parsnip (sliced)
  • ½ lb Suet Pastry (page 20)

Line basin with suet pastry; wash and cut up the meat finely and dust with seasoned oatmeal. Fill the basin with the meat, vegetables and pot liquor; cover with round of pastry, seal the edge. Cover and steam for two hours.

Seaman's Pie

  • ½ a Cabbage or Outside Leaves of Greens
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 lb Potatoes
  • 1 Turnip
  • Pot Liquor or Water
  • 1 table-spoon scraps of Fat
  • 2 ozs Shin of beef
  • 2 ozs Melt or Black Saugage
  • Seasoning
  • 1 or 2 Bones
  • 2 table-spoons Rolled Oats

Suet Pastry

  • 6 table-spoons Flour
  • ½ tea-spoon Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • 2 table-spoons shredded Suet
  • 2 table-spoons grated raw Potato
  • Water to mix

Prepare the vegetables. Shred the cabbage and onion finely; cut the carrots, turnip and potatoes into rough pieces. Melt fat in a large pan; add the sliced turnip and fry for a few minutes without browning. Add the rolled oats, minced beef, the prepared and sliced melt, and sufficient pot liquor nearly to cover; season, bring to boil. Add the remainder of the vegetables and more pot liquor if necessary, cover with a tightly fitting lid and allow to cook for 45 minutes.

Make the suet pastry. Roll to the size of the pan lid and place on top of the vegetables and meat. Replace the lid and allow to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Cut pastry across into number of pieces required (4). Serve very hot.

Sufficient for 2 or 3 meals.

Internal Meats, Liver, Kidney, Melt, Hearts, etc

Melt, kidney, liver, hearts and tripe contain valuable protective and body-building foods. These meats can form the basic ingredients of meals or they can be added in small quantities to other savoury dishes to give flavour and extra nourishment.

To Prepare:

  1. Soak in warm salted water for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove outer skin and trim if necessary.
  3. Squeeze out water and dry.

Note: Liver should not be over cooked: it should be added to stews, hot pots, etc., 30 minutes before the dish is to be served.

Liver Stew

  • ½ lb Liver (or Melt or Ox Kidney)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 table-spoon Dripping
  • 1 table-spoon Medium Oatmeal
  • 1 Leek, Onion or Parsnip
  • ¾ pint Water or Pot Liquor

Wash meat thoroughly and cut into thin slices or pieces. Heat the fat, fry the vegetables and oatmeal lightly, add the water and allow to boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the liver and simmer for half-an hour. Serve very hot. (Allow longer for melt or kidney than for liver.)

Farced Kidney, Liver or Melt and Bacon

  • ½ oz Fat
  • 1 lb tin Tomatoes (optional)
  • ½ Leek, Onion or Parsnip
  • ½ lb Liver, Melt or Kidney
  • 2 table-spoon stale Bread
  • 2 or 3 table-spoon scraps of Fat Bacon
  • ½ pint Water or Pot Liquor

Melt the fat, grate the vegetable finely and fry slightly brown; add the grated stale bread and the tomatoes. Wash and skin the meat, cut into thin slices and place in a greased tin or fire-proof dish. Spread the vegetable mixture on top of each slice, cover with scraps of fat bacon, pour round the pot liquor, cover and bake in a moderate oven for about 30-60 minutes according to type of meat. For liver only 30-40 minutes.

Sheep's Heart Pie

  • 2 Sheep's Hearts
  • Seasoning
  • 2 table-spoon Bacon Scraps
  • Water or Pot Liquor
  • 1 Carrot or Onion [chopped or grated]
  • 4 ozs Suet Pastry [4 ozs Flour]

Wash hearts and cleanse thoroughly : cut into slices. Arrange in a pie dish with the carrot, bacon scraps and seasoning; add water or pot liquor. Cover with the pastry, bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes, and then in a moderate oven for 1 hour.

OR: Stew the sheep's hearts with the carrot, bacon and seasoning, in sufficient water nearly to cover, for 30 minutes. Turn into a pie dish, cover with pastry, and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

Stuffed Ox Heart

  • 1 Ox Heart (1 lb)
  • Savoury Stuffing (see page 6)

Soak the heart in salt and water. Wash and cleanse thoroughly; remove blood and cut off coarse fat and skin. Fill the cavities of the heart with the stuffing and tie up. Place in a covered baking tin with a little water and dripping, and bake in a really hot oven for 15 minutes: finish cooking very slowly for a long time basting frequently. Time 2-2½ hours. Serve with brown gravy.

Note: Adopt a similar method for sheep's hearts. Time for cooking ¾ to 1 hour.


  • 1 lb Tripe (prepared)
  • 2 Leeks, Onions or Carrots
  • ½ pint Water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 table-spoon Flour
  • ¼ pint Milk

Cut tripe into neat pieces. Put into saucepan with the vegetables and water. Simmer slowly 1½ to 2 hours until tender. Season well. Ten minutes before serving mix the flour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk and add with the remainder of the milk to the tripe. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Serve with toast or crisp baked bread.


  • 2 Pig's Feet
  • 1 Onion (if available)
  • 2 pints Water
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Turnip

Scrape and wash pig's feet. Simmer in the water with the vegetables and seasonings until tender (about 2 hours). Remove large bones from the feet. Serve hot with pease pudding or allow to set in a mould and serve cold with salad.


  1. To increase nourishment add ¼ lb shin of beef cut into small pieces
  2. Adopt the same method for cow heel


Full use shold be made of rabbits as they are very nourishing and add variety to the diet at a time when some other foods are scarce. They may be stuffed and baked, stewed in white or brown sauce, curried or used for soups, savoury moulds, piddings, pies and sandwiches.

To Prepare: Cleanse and remove heart, liver, etc., from the inside. Cut into joints and soak in cold salted water for 2-3 hours. The heart and the liver may be chopped and added to stuffing if the rabbit is to be baked or they maybe included with the other ingredients if stewed.

Bacon and onions are usual accompaniments to rabbit, but as these may be in short supply from time to time, celery, leeks, parsnips, or other root vegetables should be used. Oatmeal stuffing adds to the nourishment especially when bacon is scarce and the addition of dried herbs or fresh herbs improves the flavour.

Rabbit Mould

  • 2 Pig's Feet (order split)
  • Water
  • 1 Leek or Onion
  • 1 small Rabbit
  • 2 Carrots
  • Salt, Pepper, Spice

Wash the pig's feet and put into a pan with the onion and sufficient water to cover. Simmer gently 1-1½ hours. After soaking, joint the rabbit and add to the pig's feet and cook until tender, 1-1½ hours. Add more water if necessary. Cool slightly, strain off the stock, and remove meat from the bones and cut into small pieces. Season the stock with salt, pepper and spice and bring to boiling point. Add the meat (there should be just enough liquid to cover the meat). Serve very hot with green vegetables, potatoes and crisp baked bread or put into a basin or a pie dish to set. When cold turn out and serve with a salad.

Note: To vary use brisket or shin of beef instead of rabbit.

Rabbit Pie

  • 1 small Rabbit
  • Salt, Pepper, Pinch of Herbs
  • Bacon Rinds
  • Water
  • 2 Carrots

Soak rabbit, prepare and joint. Stew until tender with the bacon rinds and seasonings. Strain off the stock and allow meat to cool. Place in a pie dish with the sliced carrots ind sufficient stock nearly to cover. Cover with a short crust pastry made with dripping (see page 26) and bake in a moderate oven 30-40 minutes to cook the crust.

OR Place the jointed raw rabbit, vegetables, seasonings and stock in a pie dish. Cover with pastry. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes and then in a moderate oven for 1-1½ hours.

note: The flavour is improved by this method.

Rabbit Hot-pot

  • Bacon Rinds or 1 tea-spoon Fat
  • 3 or 4 sticks Celery (optional)
  • 2 large Carrots
  • Cup of Water
  • 3 or 4 Potatoes
  • 1 small Rabbit

Melt the fat or frizzle the bacon rinds in a saucepan. Add the prepared celery and fry without browning. Add the remainder of the prepared vegetables, the water and the seasoning. Cut the prepared rabbit into joints and put on top of the vegetables. Cover with a well fitting lid and allow to stew 1-1½ hours according to the size of the rabbit. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve very hot.

Note: Adopt this method for cooking tripe, brisket, ox cheek, clop, lambs' tails and other cheap parts of meat.