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Potato Jane: Ration Book Recipes by Sarah Mortimer

Potato Jane from Eating for Victory 

Eating for Victory is a compilation of Ministry of Food leaflets distributed to the public to help them find the best and often inventive ways of using their rations during World War Two.  Food rationing was introduced in England in January 1940 after supply ships were attacked by German U-boats. 

The name of this dish comes from cookery writer Jane Grigson adapted from a recipe in one of her books. 

This is one of many dishes from the days of rationing that uses potatoes and a little cheese to make a tasty dish. Generally, potatoes were easy to come by and recipes like this made a small amount of cheese go a long way. 

It was easy to make but I think I should have used a larger dish to spread the potatoes out more as even after the allotted time, they were still a little under-cooked, although still completely delicious! I think that next time I cook this (and there will be a next time, it was lovely) I’ll put it in the slow cooker with less liquid. 


– Sarah Mortimer, a keen cook, 1940s civilian reenactor and lover of all things vintage


2 lbs. potatoes
2 oz  breadcrumbs or oatmeal
1/2 chopped leek
4 oz grated cheese
1 sliced carrot
1/2 0r 3/4 pint of milk and water
Salt and pepper

Put a layer of sliced potato in a fireproof dish. Sprinkle with some of the leek, carrot, crumbs or oatmeal, cheese and seasoning. Fill the dish with alternate layers, finishing with a later of mixed cheese and crumbs, or oatmeal. Pour over the milk, cover with a lid or greased paper and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with mashed carrots and swedes, sprinkled with coarsely chopped parsley.