British Ration Week Episode 5: Woolton Pie

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3y Jan 24, 2018

The Minister of Food who was really the heart of the rationing program was Frederick Marquis, Lord Woolton. A prominent businessman who entered government as a political novice when the war began, Woolton took his responsibility as a charge not simply to ensure that Britain survived the war, but as a mission to use the opportunity to improve public health, particularly among the lower classes. He was a refreshing example of a political figure who eschewed personal power and political strife in favor of the betterment of his society.

The head chef of the Savoy Hotel created a wartime dish which they named Woolton Pie after the Minister of Food, and which has become an excellent example of the whole rationing program in microcosm.

Woolton Pie (makes 1 pie):
½ lb potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and cut into chunks
½ lb carrots, washed and sliced
½ lb cauliflower, broken into chunks
½ lb swedes (rutabagas), peeled and cut into chunks
3-4 green onions (we used a quarter leek, both white and green), sliced
1 tsp vegetable extract*
1 tsp oatmeal **

Preheat oven to 350. Add all vegetables to a saucepan and just cover with water. Simmer until tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Put vegetables in a pie plate and add half the reserved liquid. Cover with a pastry or potato crust and bake until crust is golden brown.

Use the remaining liquid to make a gravy for serving:in a saucepan, bring liquid to a boil; in a separate cup, mix about 2 T flour with ½ c water and slowly add mixture to boiling liquid whisking constantly. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

  • I don’t know what vegetable extract is, but I’m assuming something similar to bouillon cubes. We didn’t have those, so I just used turkey stock instead of water to cook the vegetables.
    ** This is supposed to thicken the liquid into a gravy. It doesn’t.

Day 5 Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, tea
Lunch: Beans with Bacon, Skillet Biscuits
Tea: Bread Pudding, tea
Dinner: Woolton Pie, ale

For the recipes for today's dishes - and lots of other details about the experiment - please see our data page at InRange.tv:

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