The Wartime Kitchen and British Restaurants:
– Black Pudding Hot-Pot Recipe –
Day four of my living off wartime rations, and I am hankering after a little meat in my diet, curiously enough, as I am not a huge meat-eater normally. I still have my bacon and meat rations left, as well as my cheese and fat rations, but I am saving them for the weekend for some wartime baking and a tasty family Sunday lunch. My only concern at the moment is my tea ration, and I may have to cut back on my tea drinking in order to make the ration last the week. One bonus in the wartime kitchen was offal as it was not rationed; now, I am NOT a big lover of offal, an early bad experience with liver has put me off for life, but, I DO like black pudding, and yes, I DO know what the core ingredients are in this black sausage. It would have been very likely that at this time of the year, when Pig Clubs would be slaughtering their pigs in readiness for Christmas and the winter months, that some nice black pudding would become available and don’t forget I have eggs to barter with too! So, I was able to purchase some black pudding, only 8 ounces (225g) and I decided to make a hearty hot-pot with it, from a recipe by Marguerite Patten and The Victory Cookbook.
Whilst I chopped my carrots and peeled my potatoes, I remembered my mum and dad talking about their experiences at British Restaurants. British Restaurants were communal kitchens created during the Second World War, and were mainly set up to ensure communities and people who had run out of rationing coupons were still able to eat. However, in large towns and cities they became invaluable for office workers as well as all the home-front forces and volunteers, a communal canteen where people could go to for a three course hot meal that cost between 6d and 9d. (That’s 2 1/2 pence and about 4 pence in today’s money) The British Restaurants provided soup, a main course and a pudding, and although the quality may not have been there, as the volunteer cooks struggled to work with what was available, my mum and dad remember that you were very grateful for a hot meal, and three course at that. They were set up by the Ministry of Food and run by local committees on a non-profit making basis. Meals were purchased for a set maximum price of 9d, although I have discovered through some research that 6d could also buy you a meal. And, no-one could be served with a meal of more than one serving of meat, game, poultry, fish, eggs, or cheese.
I should imagine that the cooks who worked so hard to provide hot, nourishing meals at the hundreds of British Restaurants throughout the UK (by the mid-1941 over 200 of these restaurants existed in the London County Council area, although the Wartime Social Survey conducted in 1942-43 indicated they were more popular in London than in the rest of the country. In November 1942 there were 1,899 restaurants, in November 1943 there were 2,145 and in December 1944 there were 1,931), would have been very pleased to have a nice bit of fresh black pudding at their disposal, and as I discovered when I made this recipe, a little goes a long way.
The recipe suggests you serve this hot-pot with cooked beetroot and who was I to change the meal plan, so cooked beetroot was indeed served with this hearty luncheon dish, and it was a curiously comforting accompaniment, the earthiness of the beetroot complimenting the spiced black pudding hot-pot perfectly. This hot-pot serves four people and apart from the beetroot, nothing else is needed to supplement the dish as you have carrots, onions and potatoes in the casserole, making it a one-pot meal. For black pudding haters amongst you, I would replace the black pudding with normal bangers (sausages) if you could get hold of any, again, they weren’t on ration either. Anyway, here is my meal plan for day four:
Daily Meal Plan for Thursday 8th November:
Breakfast: Porridge with one cup of tea with milk
Lunch/Dinner: Black Pudding Hot-Pot with Cooked Beetroot
Tea: Bacon and Potato Cakes with Fried Bread in Dripping(Recipe to follow)
I used from my rations today: One rasher of bacon (3/4 oz – 18g); 1/2 oz tea (15g); 1/2 pint of milk (300ml) and 1 teaspoon margarine. So, here is what I have left for the week:
WW2 Rations 1940: Two Adults
Butter: 3 3/4 ozs (90g)
* Bacon or ham: 200g (8oz) – used one rasher 3/4 oz (20g) : 180g (7 1/4 oz) left
* Margarine: 6 1/2 ozs (160g) – used a little: 6 ozs (150g) left
Cooking fat/lard: 200g (8oz) Used 20zs (50g) – 60zs (150g) left
Sugar: 14 1/2 ozs (440g)
Meat: To the value of 2/4d – about 2lb (900g)
* Milk: 5 pints (3000mls) – used 1/2 pint (300mls): 4 1/2 pints (2700mls) left
Cheese: 8oz (200g)
Eggs: 2 fresh egg a week – NOT taking this ration up as I have my own chickens
* Tea: 2 0zs (50g) left – Used 1/2 oz (15g) – 2 ozs (50g) left
Jam: 900g (2lb) every two months. 120g (41/2 ozs) left
Dried eggs: 1 packet (12 eggs) every four weeks
Sweets & Chocolate: 700g (1lb 8oz) every four weeks
I hope you are enjoying my ration book cookery week – if you stop by daily to read how I am getting on, please do leave a comment, or maybe share some memories with me that you or your family have about WW2 rationing, or some recipe ideas! Tomorrow is all about fish and fish and chips during the war, and what I manage to make with just TWO small pieces of fresh fish for a family of four. Bye for now, see you tomorrow, Karen
NB: The recipe for the Black Pudding Hot-Pot is below.
WW2 Black Pudding Hot-Pot
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hour, 20 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
|From book||Victory Cook Book by Marguerite Patten|
- 8 oz (225g) black pudding (skinned and cut into slices)
- 8 oz (225g) potatoes (thinly sliced)
- 8 oz (225g) carrots (thinly sliced)
- 1 large onion, if available (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon chopped sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 oz (25g) flour
- 1 teaspoon gravy powder such as Bisto
- 3/4 pint (450mls) water
- salt and pepper
A hearty hot-pot made with non rationed black pudding and lots of vegetables. This nutritious casserole is good served with sliced cooked beetroot.
|Step 1||Arrange a slice of potatoes in a greased casserole, then a layer of black pudding and carrots.|
|Step 2||Blend the onion and sage, sprinkle half into the casserole. Add another layer of carrots then the black pudding and chopped onion and sage. End with a layer of sliced potatoes.|
|Step 3||Blend the flour, gravy powder and water together in a pan ans stir over heat until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.|
|Step 4||Pour the gravy over the ingredients in the casserole and cover with a lid. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour.|
I am entering this British Wartime Classic into the Best of British – sponsored by New World Appliances and hosted by the delectable Fiona over at London Unattached!
Why not join Janice and Fiona in their Wartime Kitchens – click on the links below:
ooh Karen, I love black pudding that looks like a great recipe. Unfortunately, after witnessing the killing of a pig and his granny stirring the blood for the black pudding, my husband has been put off for life!
I’ll have to investigate eating out in wartime as I have to go to a dinner for work on Friday night and was wondering how to incorporate that into my rations!
I have to see if my friends who are coming over for dinner on Saturday night will be game to go ration book cooking too! I bet this recipe would also be good with sausages or bacon in it….loved your porridge post today by the way! Karen
Lynne Clark (@josordoni) says
Are you re-using your tealeaves? Certainly with green and oolong tealeaves I reuse them several times, keeping them in an infuser so that they are not in liquid inbetween infusions. During the war, tea would have been loose, not in teabags, and I very much doubt each pot would have been used only the once.
Even when I was a child, in the 60s, it was usual to “top up” the teapot at least once during breakfast time.
I have not used old tea leaves yet Lynne, but I will soon, I remember my gran doing the when I used to stay with her! I am not using tea bags either, I always use loose tea, well most of the time, so I had been weighing it out every day. I have been topping up my tea pot too…..I am just drinking too many cups of tea! Karen
Lynne Clark (@josordoni) says
and did you see my bubble and squeak in yesterday’s Lynne’s Dinners? That would make a lovely dinner with off ration fried black pudding and sausages..
Will pop over now too look Lynne, I do love a good bubble and squeak and one maybe on the menu this weekend, after I have made my wartime Sunday lunch! Thanks! Karen
All That I'm Eating says
It’s amazing what you can make out of seemingly nothing. This hot pot sounds great. I remember my Granny being one of the ‘lucky’ ones as her father grew so much veg and they had their own chickens that they got to eat some fantastic meals and would always swap eggs for extra cheese!
Thanks! It has really opened my eyes to just how little you need to add to these wartime recipes and they taste delicious. Yes, those who had chickens and an allotment or garden, were the lucky ones, and eggs became valuable currency! Karen
You seem to be doing remarkably well, helped in part by Mrs Patten and her way with a ration book. War or no war the hot pot looks delish. Beetroot does seem an unusual partner to some eyes, but you and I both love our root crops and I for one eat beetroot with all manner of unlikely things (pizza!). Great effort, and very informative too.
Thanks Kellie, I am doing well and I am NOT hungry either….the thing is, is that even when meat was used in these wartime recipes, it is a very small amount, such as this recipe, which feeds 4 and only has 225g of meat in it, very thrifty and just as flavoursome as dishes with lots of meat. Beetroot is one of my favourite veggies, as you know, and it did go very well with this dish, like pickled red cabbage I suspect too. Karen
That hotpot looks delious, for the non meat eaters you could swop out the blood pudding and sub lentils. The spice cumin can be used to trick the mind, that you are eating more meat than you are.
During the war in London, all left over food i.e., peelings,
were dropped in the “pig bins” placed at the end of the streets and were picked up daily for the farms. My grandmother who was the cook, always washed her veg well before peeling and daily they were added to the big pot on the stove. The water was used to cook veg in and for soup.
Toast was made via the fork method infront of the firer with a large dollop of Sundays meat drippings spread on top with a fight amongest the siblings on who was going to get the meat essence at the bottom of the dripping dish.
Karen, this is such a great idea that you could start a whole new career and teach this to the youth of today, who are becoming more obese and having health issues that only much older adults would get, plus, it would not hurt for the younger generation to know some skills other than dialing for takeout.
Thanks so much again for your interesting comments and memories from the war Alice, as ever, I love reading your comments.
My mum still saves her vegetable water, as do I, for a base for soups and stocks……and my grandmother also used to boil the vegetable peelings to make vegetable stock, them the boiled peelings were fed to the pigs and sometimes the chickens. It was recycling and respect for food that we have lost nowadays.
We still toast bread in the winter on a toasting fork, it always tastes better that way, don’t you think? And although I don’t have a dripping jar, my grandmother used to have a big earthenware one next to her cooker, and it was delicious when spread on hot toast, oh yes!
I have heard (and seen in photos) about pig bins, what a great idea and one we should start again maybe.
It is very frightening how obese the youth of today are becoming, and yes, it would be wonderful to teach them that you can eat tasty food that is NOT a hamburger or fries!
Thanks once again for all your memories, see you tomorrow I hope! Karen
Lynne Clark (@josordoni) says
ooh gosh yes, I loved the meaty bit at the bottom of the dripping. on hot toast (cooked on a toasting fork) with salt and pepper. That used to be tea after school some times.
Me too….perfect, home made bread toasted on a fork with a smearing of meaty dripping, Karen
So, we need a recipe for blood pudding. It is not something we can purchase pre-made in the states.
I do have a recipe somewhere, I will copy and paste it here for you and in the future I will devote a whole post for it! Thanks Dona! Karen
we must have been commenting on each others sites at the same time… comment snap and black pudding snap!… i’m loving these wartime posts Karen, so nice of you to share your memories ;0) xxx
Yes, we must have been Dom! Thanks for your lovley comments, it’s nice to get some feedback on these posts, well, and posts! Black pudding rocks! Karen xx
Karen, I was wondering how you were coping with the tea rationing… I have been monitoring our cheese, sugar and even fat consumption over the last few months and they are well below WW2 rationing levels. Our meat consumption is pretty much on par with early wartime rationing. However, I have no idea how I would have coped with the tea rationing! I know many women worked ex-home and had factory tea breaks etc but still…
By the way, would you be tempted to stick with the rationing beyond the week, for a month say, bringing the points usage into play…?
As to clothes rationing, I am planning a Wartime Wardrobe Challenge next year with another blogger, and we shall be throwing it open for others. To date I have coped better than expected with not indulging in lots of new clothes. Not buying is actually a habit, much like my habit of using a shopping list of quality, seasonal raw ingredients for my food and other household goods. (I have found by focusing on ingredients even my bathroom/laundry shopping lists have changed and now my bathroom cabinet looks like a cross between a kitchen and a pharmacy.) And as focussing on the origin/traceability, quality and environmental/ethical issues are part of my decision-making process, this involves research which dilutes the ability to impulse buy. Life feels less cluttered and more conscious which is quite pleasant!
I have considered continuing beyond a week with the rationing Meg, but it will have to be in the New Year, as I have several festive commitments that I have to post on my blog before Christmas……but, a New Year challenge for a few weeks would be a wise idea after a season of over imbibing and eating, as one does, even though I always vow that I won’t.
As for for your wartime wardrobe challenge, I would love to join in – and yes, buying clothes and excessive housewares can become addictive, with the same sick feeling afterwards as you realise what you have done, and that the clutter has just increased a bit more…..
The meat, fat, sugar and sweets/chocolate rations have been easy to work with, as you say, I eat less than the WW2 ration allowance anyway, but, I would find tea, cheese, eggs and fish hard to keep up on a long term ration diet.
It has, and is, an interesting project and I have to admit to becoming a little obsessive with it all; perusing WW2 cookbooks, leaflets and other online sites to discover new recipes etc.
I’ve been following your Rationing Challenge avidly this week, It’s been really interesting. I have always been interested in WW2 and the home front especially and I have a collection of original documents from that time; from ration books and identity cards to the Ministry of Food leaflets and cookery books. So seeing someone actually cook from them, all be it 70 years later, is fantastic. I’ve always wanted to have a go myself and try the Lord Woolton pie and you’ve inspired me to give it a go.
Judith Allen says
Only looked at this today, and wish I’d spotted it before, how interesting! Black pudding hotpot doesn’t sound very appetizing to me, but actually, that plate looks rather tempting. Maybe it’s the beetroot, I do love it served as a vegetable and not just pickled.
Fiona Matters says
This looks fabulous! I would never have thought of using black pudding in a casserole. I’ve just re-discovered black pudding after finding a fabulous butcher that does a gluten free version and hadn’t thought of using it in anything other than a cooked breakfast.
Maya Russell says
Really not a fan of black pudding or cooked beetroot but it’s a good cheap recipe, thanks.
Su Tyler says
I would never have considered cooking black pudding like this. The only time I’ve not had it with breakfast was for a Gary Rhodes recipe with mackerel.
morag taylor says
we had black pudding hot pot served up every week at school in the sixties and seventies!!
one of the most popular dishes on the menu; although we knew it as Cumberland hot pot.
Karen Burns-Booth says
Ah yes, I also know it as Cumberland Hot Pot too Morag, there are several names for it, I love it!