York Museums Trust

< Back to Blog

Vegetable Pie: Ration Recipes by Sarah Mortimer

Vegetable pie with brown sauce from ‘Good Eating’ 


‘Good Eating’ was a collection of recipes created from reader’s recipes in the Daily Telegraph during World War Two. 

This recipe uses the fact that vegetables were relatively easy to come by in wartime whereas meat was not – it doesn’t specify which vegetables to use, just ‘any vegetable in season’ making it really versatile for the cook. You really could add anything to it, and I have done when making it previously although root veg are particularly good so this time I used onion, carrot, swede and parsnip. It also says that you should always use some form of tomato – in the past I’ve used fresh tomatoes but this time I used tomato puree, which, I have to say, we both preferred and this is what I’ll do when I make it again. My other half even commented that you wouldn’t realise that you weren’t eating meat! 

I used butter to cook the veg in as I love the flavour it gives but the recipe suggests lard. The veg took about 30 minutes to brown but I should have cut the swede a little smaller as it takes longer to cook. As for oven temperatures, a ‘hot oven’ equates to Gas Mark 7 or 220ºC and although it said half an hour, I found that it cooked quicker than that. 

We ate the pie with steamed cabbage and it was delicious! It was easy to make and you could use shop-bought shortcrust pastry if you’re not happy making your own (puff pastry would also be nice)or even top it with mashed potatoes which are possibly easier to find in the shops at the moment. I imagine that the version with the cheese sauce would be equally good, but this really version does use things you’re likely to have at home. 

Enjoy! – Sarah


Any vegetables in season
1/2 lb pastry
1 oz dripping or cooking fat

For brown sauce
1 oz cooking fat
1 oz flour
1/2 pint stock or water
Meat cube