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History Cookbook: Woolton Pie - Recipe 1 (With wholemeal pastry topping)

This recipe is in categories World War 2, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (903 votes)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes to cook vegtables, 25 minutes to cook the pie
Number of servings: 5-6 people
Serving suggestions: Serve with gravy

This recipe became one of the most famous in the war. Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, promoted it as a healthy meal choice. Alas though, it never really took off with the British public. Even with rationing and meagre portions, most people felt it was a step too far. The recipe became a wartime joke, even rhymes were made up about it.
For the pie:
  • 1lb (450g) of diced potatoes
  • 1lb (450g) cauliflower
  • 1lb (450g) swede
  • 1lb (450g) carrots
  • 3 or 4 spring onions or some sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoonful of vegetable extract;
  • 1 tablespoon of oatmeal
  • chopped parsley
For the pastry:
This pastry uses only flour and lard (no sugar or egg) for 6oz (170g) of pastry

  • 4 oz (113.4g) of wholemeal flour
  • 2 oz (56.7g) lard
  • Weighing scales
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Saucepan
  • Pie dish
  • Bowl
  • Rolling pin
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

For the pie:
  1. Dice up the vegetables
  2. Place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover
  3. Add the oatmeal and vegetable extract and stir
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking
  6. Remove any excess water and allow to cool
  7. Put the vegetables into a pie dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley
  8. Cover with wholemeal pastry
  9. Bake in a moderate oven until the pastry is nicely brown and serve hot
For the pastry:

  1. Place the flour into a bowl
  2. Cut up the lard and rub into the flour with your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb like consistency
  3. Add a tablespoon of water to make dough
  4. Roll out very thinly
The vegetables, when chopped up, are very bulky. I had to use two saucepans to cook the amount produced. You many want to use ½ lb of each vegetable, unless you are cooking for 5 or 6 people
Woolton Pie - Recipe 1 (With wholemeal pastry topping) - print view  Woolton Pie - Recipe 1 (With wholemeal pastry topping) - print view

If you tried this recipe and liked it, tell us about it
There are 43 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Tina Cooper 13th August 2018
It is a wartime VEGETABLE pie, not a vegetarian recipe. Vegetable fat was rare than lard at the time. According to my mum who was in the Land Army all sorts of variants were made according to what was in the garden at the time.
Name: Clara 11th August 2016
The pastry is not vegetarian as it contains lard from pigs. Made with spread (aka marg) or vegetarian suet and it will be suitable for vegetarians. Try seasonal vegetables and herbs to make it more interesting.
Name: Henry 27th June 2016
its excellent,, im sure when made with enthusiasm..its a vegetarian pasty basically, so if the pastry itself is a good one, it will be great... recipe can be slanted towards more onion, and parsnip also will make it for cooking the ingredients, use 2 vegetable stock cubes in the water..just reminded of it by a program on lord woolton on radio now...
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