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History Cookbook: Gruel

This recipe is in category Victorians
About this recipe
Healthiness : (954 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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Name: Chris 1st April 2018
After Trump's tax plan takes effect, this is all I'll be able to afford to eat. I'm not part of 1%.
Name: Nancy Kendall-Kruse 14th March 2018
My Grama Langley would make gruel with milk.
Name: DebBish 11th February 2018
We make ours with millet, steel-cut oats or coarsely ground wheat berries (whole wheat ground coarsely) corn meal, or rice ground coarsely. I add butter & salt, or sugar & apples & cinnamon. Very lovely, and so nutritious.
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