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History Cookbook: Gruel

This recipe is in category Victorians
About this recipe
Healthiness : (1719 votes)
Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes


This recipe is based on the ingredients used in an 18th century workhouse. Gruel was one of the main foods provided. At this workhouse (Sunday-Thursday) on three days of the week, male inmates were served a pint and a half of gruel, a pint and a half of broth, five ounces of cooked meat, twelve ounces of bread and eight ounces of potatoes. On the three alternate days, the men were fed twelve ounces of bread, a pint and a half of gruel, a pint and a half of soup, and two ounces of cheese. On Fridays, they were served twelve ounces of bread, a pint and a half of gruel, fourteen ounces of suet or rice pudding, and two ounces of cheese. The meagre menu was divided into three meals daily. Women and children were given slightly less.
Ingredients
  • 3 dessert spoonfuls of oatmeal
  • 1 pint of water
  • a little salt
Equipment
  • Spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Pan
  • Wooden spoon
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Mix the oatmeal with a little cold water to make a paste
  2. Put the rest of the water in a pan
  3. Add the mixture and boil for 10 minutes
  4. Add the salt
Gruel - print view  Gruel - print view

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Comments
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Name: Elizabeth 1st December 2018
We eat this fairly frequently! we like it. Good Old Fashioned Rolled Oats are very nutritious.
Name: Colin Bowles 21st November 2018
I have been eating “gruel” for over seventy years, without realising. I call it “porridge”, but make it one part oats, one part milk, and one part water - mixed and cooked (these days) in a microwave oven and a spoonful of honey then added, plus a dash of milk. Delicious, and no sticky pan to wash.
Name: Aiden 12th November 2018
I think it is great
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