Sunday, June 15, 2014

Woolton Pie with Potato Pastry

We'll Eat Again: A collection of recipes from the war years selected by Marguerite Patten

Woolton pie was named after the Minister of Food in WWII, Lord Woolton.  It is designed to work with severe rationing, with vast amounts of vegetables, no meat, and very little wheat flour.

Woolton Pie
Cooking time: about 1 hour    Quantity: 4 helpings

Dice and cook about 1 lb of each of the following in salted water: potatoes (you could use parsnips if topping the pie with mashed potatoes), cauliflower, swedes, carrots--you could add turnips too.  [I used turnip instead of swede/rutabaga.]  Strain but keep 3/4 pint of the vegetable water.

I halved the recipe.  This is 1/2 lb. of each.

Arrange the vegetables in a large pie dish or casserole.  Add a little vegetable extract and about 1 oz rolled oats or oatmeal to the vegetable liquid.  Cook until thickened and pour over the vegetables; add 3-4 chopped spring onions [I used a lot of chives.]

Top with Potato Pastry or with mashed potatoes and a very little grated cheese [I used two adult people's cheese ration for the week- 4 oz. total.  I'm American, so it should be allowed under cultural exceptions] and heat in the centre of a moderately hot oven [375 F.] until golden brown. [half an hour-ish.  Depends on how thick the pastry is.]  Serve with brown gravy.

This is at its best with tender young vegetables. [Nope.  Turnips and parsnips are so unpopular, the only ones around look pretty beat-up. Oh well.  There's a war on.]

Potato Pastry
This is a pastry that should be used a great deal as it helps to lighten the flour and makes our rations of fat go much further.
Sift 6 oz. self raising flour with a pinch of salt.  Rub in 2-3 oz cooking fat, add 2 oz grated raw potato.  Mix well and bind with water.  Roll out on a floured board and use as ordinary shortcrust pastry.


Well that isn't the wartime spirit I was looking for.  Husband and I thought it was actually pretty darn good.  Especially with the aid of a large amount of vegetable flavored "Better Than Bouillon" to serve as the vegetable extract.  Mmmm.  Husband even said he'd like to see it again!  It could use some more color, though.  Parsnips, rutabagas, potatoes, cauliflower and turnips do not have very striking contrast.

2-year-old, who had just been woken up from a sorely needed nap prematurely, was so offended that she wouldn't touch it and instead tried to knock over the precious ration of orange juice to which she, as a child, is entitled. Upon failing, she flowed off her chair and onto the floor like syrup and assumed the position shown in picture 2, to prevent me holding a carrot near her face on a fork.  An hour later, she ate half her serving and liked it.


Nadine Zdanovich said...

This is such a nice recipe Jana! I especially love 'The Verdict' part.
I was looking in to Garum/Liquamen from ancient times, and saw your link for Time Travel Kitchen.
Great writing style, too. Thanks!

Nadine Zdanovich said...

Hi Jana, I was researching Garum/Liquamen from ancient times and saw a link to Time Travel Kitchen. Lovely recipe and I especially liked 'The Verdict'!
Great writing!

Jana said...

Thanks, Nadine!

Sarah Rachelle said...

Haha! That is very close to the same reaction my daughter gives me for half the ration recipes I bring to the table.

Alan said...

I made this yesterday and it was so good to taste. Amazing !!!

Jana said...

So glad!