Carolyn’s ‘Everything IN’ wartime stew


I have to confess, I have never seen this recipe in any of my WWII cook books..

But HELL, you just didn’t waste ANYTHING in the 1940’s so I betcha that ‘Ruby Murray’ and her delightfully scruffy, scabby knee’d children would have had a meal like this now and again to use up rubbery veggies languishing in the pantry..

HELL, you didn’t waste ANYTHING in the 1940’s

Who is Ruby Murray? Lets just say you’ll see her soon. A nosey, time traveling alter ego from the 1940’s who occasionally appears in my kitchen to make long days even longer…


Click here to watch Ruby Murray back in 2006

Meanwhile- here is the recipe

Everything IN wartime stew

  • 1 lb of mince beef or a mixture of leftover meats
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 onion or 1 leek
  • Any veggies that need using up
  • Several soft tomatoes that are no good for anything else
  • Oxo and marmite (marmite is optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water


Brown the mince or leftover meats and onions

Chop up the remaining veg into smallish pieces

Chop up the soft tomatoes and add to meat and onions and then add water (about a 1000 ml)

Add the oxo and marmite and stir

Add the chopped veggies

Cook and occasionally stir adding salt, pepper and some dried herbs like thyme to your own taste

Cook on medium heat in the saucepan for about 20 further minutes

Enough for 8 served with mashed potatoes or bread and butter.

6 thoughts on “Carolyn’s ‘Everything IN’ wartime stew

  1. Ruby Murray is fab! Keep up the great work, you’ve inspired me to try this experiment too. I reckon I’ve got about 50 odd lbs too lose : – S .


  2. my ma ,gladys grew up in east wall in dublin during the 40s,time when u could go to a shop and buy half an apple and get it wrapped up,she would go to moore street with her mam ,and she never forgets hauling everything back home,their was florence and arthur simeson my mums parents ,aunty francis and uncle malcolm hall .and bill who never married and great aunt bertha…regular meals were vey simple fair..liver and bacon,hafner sausages,porridge,and a bit of steak if they could afford it from a buther on the howth road..most dinners were in the breakfast room.and were variations of quarter pound of round mine fried with onions.bit of carrot..and OXO..2 cubes..left overnite to absorb the juice maybe a dash of worstershire sauce..people dint go out like they do today..the glimmer man would call around..and the coal man..very happy memories of kincora avenue in clontarf,and the railway house in amiens street..and the great northern railway,when as a girl she would find the secret hatches up to the main line…simplicty mince stew is pretty much the same….sincerely colin sherwood

  3. We used to have a large pot on the old range, it was allways filled with left overs, and was a great help after work, just gave it a stir and helped ourselfs. also the joint (if we had one) was hung in the larder(cool room to those who never used one) wraped in muslim, we called it CUT AND COME AGAIN, when it was meatless, the bone was smashed up and put in the stock pot.

  4. I started looking up recipes for the wartime era as my kids are having a 1950’s jubilee celebration at school to raise funds. I did not realise how many things I make that are of this style. I suppose living where I do in rural Scotland, and being of the old fashioned variety, this is easy for me to do as there is very little I have to change 😀 Leftovers are always used, I very rarely have waste, and I make just about everything from scratch including sauces, own pickle preserves and wine. I love this right up my street thanks 🙂

  5. Pingback: What to do with those Left Over meats and Vegetables -

Leave a Reply