Woolton Pie

The recipe for Woolton Pie was the creation of the chef of the Savoy hotel and named after Lord Woolton, head of the Ministry Of Food.  Many people had their own interpretation of this recipe, but they always used carrots! Basically it is mixed vegetables, a sauce and a topping , which could be pastry or potatoes mashed or sliced.  The Official recipe as reported in "The Times" on 26 April 1941 is shown here:

Introduced in May 1941, it continued to raise a hollow laugh throughout the war. In fact, Woolton Pie was far from being a laughing matter.

It was named after Frederick Marquis, Lord Woolton, the ex-managing director of a store chain called Lewis (mainly in the north of England) and ex-social worker, who was appointed Minister of Food in April 1940.

Unglamorous his position may have been, but it was vital to the war effort. It says much for Woolton's personal charm that he was remarkably popular with the public, even when singing the praises of rissoles without beef, cakes without sugar and tea without tea leaves.

Much of Woolton's success was due to his business skill -- he only rationed items of which he was certain he had enough to go around, however small the quantities. This built up a sense of fairness and trust: he also believed that the public should be educated and helped, not just instructed.

This he did by means of advertisements starring 'Dr Carrot' and 'Potato Pete', by broadcasts with 'Gert and Daisy' - the music hall artistes Elsie and Doris Walters, and by 'Kitchen Front' spots on the radio and 'Food Flashes' in the cinema

Lord Woolton, Britain's wartime Minister of Food, charmed and cajoled the public into eating not only Woolton Pie but a 'National loaf' - pictured here baked as a 'Victory loaf'.

Neither were liked, but by the end of the War, the country was fitter and healthier than it ever had been. 

The Official  Recipe as reported in The Times 26 April 1941:


Take 1Ib each of diced potatoes, cauliflower, swedes 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.



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