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History Cookbook: Trench Stew

This recipe is in category Edwardians and WW1
About this recipe
Healthiness : (375 votes)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 3 - 4
Serving suggestions: For authenticity, allow to cool and serve with a cup of stewed tea

This recipe is based on the recollections of a soldier from the 9th Bedfordshire Regiment, who served in the trenches during WW1. Getting fresh hot food from the field kitchen to the front lines was impossible when a battle was raging. Soldiers lucky enough to have a small stove, or even candles, would boil up any food including stale biscuits or add these to the canned food provided.
  • 1 turnip
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ tin corned beef
  • ¼ stock cube (improves flavour. The canned stews and soups would have had some flavourings. However we are not sure if this would have been available in the field kitchens in times of shortages)
  • one or two biscuits (optional)
  • 1 pint of water
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring jug
  • Pan
  • Chopping board
  • Masher
  • Wooden spoon
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Put the water on to boil
  2. Slice up the turnip and carrot
  3. Add to the boiling water
  4. Add the stock and stir then leave for 10 minutes
  5. Mash up corned beef and add to the mixture
  6. Add the biscuits and stir (optional)
Trench Stew - print view  Trench Stew - print view

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Name: Timothy 21st September 2017
I'll be honest: I'm going to try this out, simply because it actually looks good. Simple, but if cooked by someone who knows how to bring out the flavors, it seems like a hearty stew.
Name: Chloe 2nd March 2017
I'm a student at South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton Devon in England... and I'm making this Trench Stew for my teacher for History and he said that he will eat literally everything.....LOL😂😂😂😂😂
Name: Julie 13th December 2016
Use a full tin of corned beef, a whole stock cube, leave out the biscuits and put in an onion. I still make this regularly in 2016 and always wondered where my family got a liking for it. It seems we've been eating it since WW1! We have it on pancakes and I have no idea why. Its delicious when made properly, cheap, nutritious and perfect food for students, as my children will tell you.
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