The Wartime Kitchen, Day Six and
Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding Recipe
It was my intention to cook a meal in a Hay Box at sometime in my wartime kitchen week; a hay box was a simple way to continue cooking a meal whilst you were out, or in order to save energy. The casserole, soup or stew was cooked to a very high temperature on top of the stove, to boiling point and then covered and placed in a box that was filled with hay or straw, and then further insulated with newspapers, before being covered with more hay, usually stuffed into a pillow case and then a lid was placed on top of the hay box, and the meal would continue to cook for a further six to eight hours. All the reports that I read, say that these boxes worked very well and I do have an old sewing box set to one side to make my hay box with……but, I may have to wait for that project some time in the future as I am running out of time!
So, in order to conserve fuel and cook a COMPLETE meal on top of my Aga, I have devised a family meal for four to six people that, can be cooked in a multi-layered steamer and comprises a hot steamed pudding, a vegetable accompaniment and a sweet pudding……Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding and Spiced Fruit Roll, which, is cooked in an old baked beans tin.
I cooked my full menu on large steamer, that has two steamer sections and one pan, where the water goes……both of the savoury and sweet puddings sat in the top steamer, and the cabbage was added to the bottom steamer about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Then, whilst we were eating the main meal, I kept the custard that I had made (with Bird’s custard powder) warm in the residual heat from the steamer! And there we have it, a complete meal in one steamer pan! I used an old baked bean tin for the spiced fruit roll, as I remember both of my grandmother’s using them for steamed puddings as well as baked meat rolls, another perfect example of recycling and thrift – plus, they make a rather nice shape to cut and serve.
My delicious Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding recipe was based on a mish-mash of various WW2 recipes, and I picked the best bits out of all of them (to personal preference) and came up with my own version, using some very handy prepared Scotty Brand Casserole Vegetables that I was sent recently…..my prepared casserole vegetables comprise: a convenient mix of prepared swede, carrot, potato, leek and onion – just perfect for casseroles, soups, stews, pies and my steamed pudding! Obviously, by adding vegetables to the steamed pudding filling, I used less of my meat rations, meaning I have some left for another day.
I am sharing the Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding Recipe today, below, but the Spiced Fruit Roll recipe will follow in another post, at the end of the week when I will be sharing all the recipes that I have not copied out just yet….and now on to what I have used from my remaining rations, and what my meal plan is for today: I used 225g (8 ozs) meat; 75g (3 ozs) suet which is part if my fat ration; 450ml (3/4 pint) milk, 15g (1/2 oz) tea, 25g (1 oz) sugar and 25g (1 oz) margarine.
Daily Meal Plan for Saturday 10th November:
Breakfast: Toast and margarine with cup of tea
Lunch: Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding, Steamed Cabbage, Spiced Fruit Roll with Custard
Tea: Vegetarian Scotch Broth – made with Scotty Brand Scotch Broth prepared vegetables
What I have left…….
WW2 Rations 1940: Two Adults:
Butter: 3 ozs (75g)
Bacon or ham: 200g (8oz) – used one rasher 3/4 oz (20g) : 180g (7 1/4 oz) left
* Margarine: 4 1/2 ozs (120g) – used 1 oz (25g)
* Cooking fat/lard: 125g (5oz) Used 30zs (75g)
* Sugar: 13 1/2 ozs (415g) – used 1 oz (25g)
* Meat: To the value of 2/4d – about 2lb (900g) – Used 8 ozs (225g)
* Milk: 3 3/4 pints (2250mls) – used 3/4 pint (450ml)
Cheese: 6oz (150g)
Eggs: 2 fresh egg a week – NOT taking this ration up as I have my own chickens
* Tea: 1 0z (25g) left – Used 1/2 oz (15g)
Jam: 900g (2lb) every two months. (4 ozs) left
Dried eggs: 1 packet (12 eggs) every four weeks
Sweets & Chocolate: 700g (1lb 8oz) every four weeks
I feel quite smug as I only have one day to go and I have quite a lot of meat, bacon, cheese and butter left, and, it now looks like I WON’T run out of tea either! However, I am wise enough to realise that when there is an end in sight, it has been easy to adjust to rations for just one week….. anyway, it is time to go now, tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday and I shall be watching the Queen lay her wreath at the Cenotaph, and tomorrow’s wartime menu is all about BAKING and CHRISTMAS preparations with ration book cooking, have a wonderful Saturday and see you tomorrow, Karen
Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding
|Serves||4 to 6|
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||3 hours|
|Total time||3 hours, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Serve Hot|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 7ozs (200g) plain flour
- 3ozs (75g) oatmeal, such as pinhead medium oatmeal
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 to 3ozs (50 to 75g) grated suet (I used vegetable suet)
- water, to bind
- 8ozs (225g) strewing steak
- 120zs (300g) mixed prepared vegetables such as carrots, swede, potatoes, turnip, leeks, onions and celery (I used a bag of Scotty Brand prepared Casserole Vegetables)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
A delicious meat and vegetable steamed pudding that would have been popular as a family meal during the war; the meat is padded out with tasty seasonal root vegetables and the suet crust is made from a combination of flour and oatmeal, for a nutty taste and texture. Serve with gravy and steamed seasonal vegetables. I used a very handy packet of Scotty Brand prepared casserole vegetables in my pudding.
|Step 1||Pastry: Mix the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper and suet together and then add enough cold water to make a dough with a soft rolling consistency.|
|Step 2||Roll the dough out on a floured board and use three-quarters to line a 2 pint (1200ml) pudding basin.|
|Step 3||Dice the meat finely and mix with the prepared vegetables. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water to the filling mixture and season well. Spoon the filling into the pastry lined pudding basin and then roll out the remaining dough to form a lid.|
|Step 4||Moisten the edges of the edges of the pastry lid and put into position on top of the pie, crimping the pastry together around the edges to form a tight seal.|
|Step 5||Cover with margarine paper or greased baking parchment, and add a lid if using a plastic steamer. Place in a steamer and steam for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, making sure the water is topped up regularly with boiling water.|
Disclaimer: I was sent some Scotty Brand prepared Casserole and Scotch Broth vegetables as part of my Scotty Blogger participation. With thanks as always to the team at Scotty Brand for my lovely fresh Scottish vegetables. All opinions and views are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
Camilla @Fabfood4all says
Your spiced fruit roll so takes me back to my school days where all the puddings were that shape but just in different flavours and always very comforting with custard! I think there’s a lot to be learned from War time cooking in this recession and when I have some time I will be looking more closely at your posts!
Thanks so much Camilla! Today is my last day and I have found the whole experiment fascinating and also humbling too. Karen
David Kynaston says
Hi there Karen. I found your blog via Pinterest. I have a passion and great respect for the people of this period. Because I don’t have an AGA (much as I desire) I do find great usage of my slow cookers. A modern version of the Haybox. Something to consider from someone who is known for making steamed puddings, instead of buttering the pudding basin, consider wetting it and then lining with cling wrap, leaving an amount draping the outside of the pudding bowl. fill with pudding ingredients, then top with another piece of cling wrap. Tie in the usual way, and place in the slow cooker. Pour sufficient water to come halfway up the side of the pudding basin. Cook on high for 3 hours, No need to top up the water, just don’t take the lid off during cooking. If you go out or forget the pudding, it will not dry out. The cling wrap topping will expand with the pastry. When it is time to serve, remove pudding from slow cooker. Remove top cling wrap, and invert pudding. The cling wrap lining will assist in removal from pudding basin. A good way of reducing the fat content (butter) of the dish, power consumption is reduced (150 watts compared to 2500+ watts for an electric stove.
I do recommend yourself and others view the wartime farm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUsU5s0ofYo . I personally want to adopt Ruth Goodman.
Wouldn’t it be great if the world over on Remembrance Day / Anzac Day, etc, if it was promoted to prepare a meal on that day of the time cooking within ration conditions. As time goes on, we remember the soldiers as they pass, we think of the WI and the women in service, Wouldn’t it be humbling, if we could remember the nations and what they fought for and the lessons learnt by celebrating by simply preparing a meal.
David Kynaston says
PS. Have you seen the ECOPOT. for a modern version of the haybox? https://www.ecopot.com.au/Contents/Page/How_Ecopot_Works
Karen Burns-Booth says
THANKS so much David – I will pop over there to look now – Karen
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thanks so much for your interesting and supportive comments here David, and for the link too.
I wanted to make a hay box when I was doping this challenge, and it’s still on the cards for later this year, as you say, maybe to coincide with Remembrance Day or even Anzac day too…..I agree with you that we should all try to live like this with rations, even if only for one day.
I plan to live off rations again, for a week, later on this year.
Once again, thanks so much for all of your observations and the link to the hay box video too!
Melinda Loustalot says
Thank you for this explanation of one way to cook a pudding. As an American, these ideas are indeed foreign to my thinking, as here we would just bake it in the oven. I will definitely give the slow cooker process a try. I will assume that cling wrap is regular plastic wrap, the clear plastic on a roll that stretches somewhat to make a seal. When you say “tie in the usual way” what does that mean? I realize your post is 5 years old, but I do hope to hear back.
Karen Burns-Booth says
Clingfilm is indeed plastic wrap!
Good luck if you make this.
That looks so warming and tasty Karen. Well done with the steamer, I think it’s funny how these war time meals remind me of my childhood and the more traditional food that we ate most weeks although, I hasten to add, that wasn’t during rationing!!!
Thanks Janice, a multi-layered steamer is a brilliant piece of kit in the kitchen nowadays too, with soaring energy costs! Karen
I am really enjoying this series of posts, Karen. On the one hand it is fascinating to see how it is possible to eat good wholesome balanced meals with limited supplies. On the other hand, it is bringing back so many childhood memories. My mum’s cooking was very much defined by wartime rationing (and her Lancashire roots). For years she found ways of putting hearty meals together to feed a family of four growing kids with modest amounts of meat and limited fat, and it has been fascinating to see how much of that wartime instinct I have subconsciously absorbed…
And I am definitely looking forward to your dessert in a tin recipe!
Thanks Meg! The recipe for the pudding in a tin is on my last day’s post today here: Spiced Mixed Fruit Roll in a Tin
I agree, my own childhood memories, from across the Pennines in Yorkshire, was of hearty and tasty fare which, when I study the recipes that mum has passed on to me, are made with very little fat and meat, as you mention. Meals were always well balanced, and frugal supplies were padded out by nursery desserts, such as baked rice pudding, stewed fruit and custard and fresh fruit too.
Thanks so much for your comments and ideas, and I will be happy to join in with you in the New Year for your Clothing Rations challenge.
Even though nothing this week has been ‘fancy’ it has all looked so appealing and homely. We can get so caught up in creating impressive food that we can forget that simple things can be as good, if not better. You will probably have better quality ingredients to use (although the vegetables then would have been better, and better for you)- which helps – but any of these recipes if done ‘back then’ would have made what could be a very boring and limited diet so much more palatable. I think if we ever had rationing, in a way it would be good as more people would have to cook, and therefore we eat better – less rubbish ingredients, less waste, more nutrients, less overall calories. A great week of posts, m’dear. Looking forward to the spice fruit roll recipe. We used to love date roll made in a can when we were young. A novelty perhaps as no rationing in the 70s, but fun to make.
Thanks so much for your obvious enthusiasm and support for me throughout the week Kellie…..you have raised EXACTLY the points that I have tried to promote, that today’s waste and excessive calories are breeding a nation of ill and obese people. This week has been AMAZING for me, not just the frugal amounts that were allocated, but the surprise at the end of the week when I realise I still have fat, sugar, meat and cheese left! Maybe I should have used more cheese, but as the week progressed I tried to use lots of vegetables and oatmeal….the spiced fruit roll recipe is now live here: Spiced Mixed Fruit Roll in a Baked Bean Tin Karen
I would like spiced fruit roll!
Maya Russell says
It looks cheap – but in a good way! I love your recipes as they give me good ideas.
Lisa Williams says
I love the look of meat puddings I think it always think it’s a shame to cut it open 🙂
Fiona Matters says
The pudding looks like a really interesting idea. I may have to discuss with the other half and see if he would like to try it. We have lots of stewing steak in the freezer and I’m hugely tempted. Need to get some root veggies though – used them all in the soup at the weekend!