A WWII Recipe Classic

May 1, 2014

Woolton pie was THE dish that every British person thought of when remembering what they'd eaten during the war. Named after the Minister of Food, Frederick Marquis, 1st Lord Woolton, it was that beloved British savory, the meatpie – with no meat and no pie. What it had was lots of vegetables.

Lord Woolton was a great showman. He was often photographed eating his namesak dish with great apparent pleasure. 

Woolton Pie

The Official Recipe, as published in the Times of London, April 26, 1941 

Take 1 Ib each of diced potatoes, cauliflower, swedes (ie. turnips), and carrots; 

Three or Four spring onions;

One teaspoonful of vegetable extract and

One teaspoonful of oatmeal.


Cook all together for ten minutes with just enough water to cover.

Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking.

Allow to cool; put into a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry.

Bake in a moderate oven until the pastry is nicely brown and serve hot with brown gravy.


The American translation, as printed in many wartime cookbooks. This is the version Lulu would most likely have made.

Woolton Pie

1 lb potatoes

2 lb carrots

1 lb mushrooms

1 small leek

2oz margarine or chicken fat

2 spring onions

Salt, pepper, nutmeg, chopped parsley

Bunch of herbs made of 1 small bay leaf, 1 small spring of thyme, parsley and celery.


Peel the potatoes and carrots, and cut them into slices the thickness of an old penny. Wash them well and dry in a tea-cloth. Fry them separately in a frying pan with a little chicken fat.

Do the same for the mushrooms, adding the finely chopped onions and leeks.

Mix them together and season with salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and roughly chopped parsley.

Fill a pie dish with this mixture, placing the bundle of herbs in the middle. Moisten with a little giblet stock or water. Allow to cool. Cover with a pastry crust made from half beef suet or chicken fat and half margarine.

Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour.








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