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History Cookbook: Gruel

This recipe is in category Victorians
About this recipe
Healthiness : (335 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: Hamilton 22nd May 2014
Lovely - forgot all about gruel. My mom made it for me when I was growing up - more than sixty years ago. I've never had it since. Enjoyed it tremendously. Where did she hear about it? A remarkable woman all round.
Name: Tom 3rd May 2014
I loved it, I now eat it everyday for every meal, i also give it to my family and they seem to like it too.we are setting up a new campaign to become gruelian where all we ever eat is gruel!!!
Name: Ian 30th March 2014
I made this for some method acting and learned that adding a bit of honey after it's boiled makes it far more palatable.
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