Lord Woolton Pie- Version 2

After watching “The Supersizers Go – Wartime” I knew there was only one thing that I could possibly eat tonight and that was a Lord Woolton Pie… the pastry topped version with thick brown bisto gravy..

I followed the recipe below and I made three pies in smaller containers, enough for 6 people really except today I was as hungry as a horse so ate a whole pie and nearly a whole gravy boat full of the thick brown stuff smothered over the top.

I think I deserved it because today I ran at 5 mph for 5 minutes, ran for 10 minutes at 4 mph on a 2 incline and walked for 15 minutes at 3 mph on a 10 incline and put myself into the top endurance category for doing that… and burned off nearly 400 cals for my weight, doing so..

THIS is the BEST Lord Woolton Pie version by far. Cook the veggies well and season well too, lots of salt and pepper and dot over a little margarine before putting into the pie dish and covering with the dough.

Lord Woolton Pie- Version 2

1 lb diced potatoes
1 lb diced carrots
1 lb diced cauliflower
1 lb diced swede (turnip or rutabaga in North America)
Leek or an onion chopped
Fresh parsley chopped
1 or 2 teaspoons of marmite (yeast extract) or add stock powder to water or cook veggies in stock
1 heaped tablespoon of oats


4 oz of wholemeal/wholewheat flour
2 oz of lard or margarine


Dice up all the vegetables and just cover with water
mix in the marmite or stock and oats and stir
Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes until veggies are soft
Drain and then mix in plenty of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of margarine
Place in pie dishes or big pie dish
Make the pastry by chopping up the margarine into small pieces and rubbing it into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs
Add a little water and make a dough
Roll out the dough into the desired shape and until nice and then and place over the pie dish
Pierce the pastry with a sharp knife a few times
Glaze with a little milk or water
Place in oven at 180 C for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

Serve with a nice thick gravy

26 thoughts on “Lord Woolton Pie- Version 2

  1. Actually Carolyn in the States we call a swede a rutabaga. A few places might call it a yellow turnip. What you call a turnip in England is the same as us.

    • Ahhh I see!! Here in canada they call swedes turnips (well here in Nova Scotias South Shore they do!)… I got very confused when I first moved to Canada from the UK 8 years ago!! Thanks C xxx

    • In some jars of sweet pickle in the UK, one of the ingredients is usually named as rutabaga, but otherwise we call it swede. But some people call a swede a turnip, which is confusing. Turnips are quite small and tasteless thigns IMHO!

  2. What did you use for the brown gravy? Just a bisto mix? I always thought a swede was a rutabaga here too. At least, it is what I learned as a grocery store cashier.

  3. Yes Bisto is suitable for vegetarians and was available in the UK during WW2. I used the water from the veggies and mixed that with the bisto powder with a little blob of margarine πŸ™‚ Made it thick and brown and glossy and perfect for the pie πŸ™‚

    • I never knew that Bisto Gravy powder was Vegetarian – I assumed it had some variety of Beef flavouring added; but I just checked the ingredients and you are spot on – Happy days πŸ™‚

  4. The pie was awesome- I can’t believe I ate all the big pie!! I still have two more left and am taking one to work for my lunch tomorrow! Oh my!!! Pie, pie, pie!!! πŸ™‚

  5. This sounds nice. I do mine the way the chef at the Ritz, Francois Latry, creator of the original Woolton Pie, did it originally. I start by sautΓ©ing the potatoes, swede, carrots, leek, and mushrooms separately, and then placing each as I finish them into a baking dish. I generally add a bit of chopped fennel and some thyme to the carrots, and black pepper and nutmeg to the mushrooms. And I salt each layer. When all of the vegetables are in the baking dish I cover them with chopped parsley and thyme. I make a gravy out of the pan juices by deglazing with water, adding a hit of sherry and then a teaspoon of marmite, or just salt. I pour this over the vegetables, slap on a pie crust (1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat), and bang it in the oven for about 40 minutes. I generally sautΓ© in olive oil or some combination of olive and rapeseed. It’s one of my favorite dishes and in winter we have it at least once a week.

    • Oh my! I can see I will have to cook a Lord Woolton Pie version 3 before the end of the experiment!!!

      So the recipe you have given above is an authentic wartime recipe? This is marvellous! It won’t take me much persuading to give this a go! Sounds even yummier!!! Thanks for sharing! C xxx

  6. Lilli, Thanks for sharing the pe recipe. I must say it is one of the more appetizing versions I’ve seen. Will be trying this one after a trip to the Farmers Market.

  7. I LOVE Lord Woolton pie – or Wooly as I grew up calling it. It’s delicious indeed. I’m lazy, so I generally use a pre-made vegan pie crust. So darn tasty. Oh how I wish it was cool enough to turn on the oven…

  8. Pingback: Day 6 – 1940s Experiment 2013 | The 1940's Experiment

  9. I have been making and eating this dish for years, just calling it veg pie. I have been a vegetarian for 37 years and this is a favourite. Another regular dish is bubble and squeek, made from fresh or left-overs, cooked in a skillet until it starts to scorch. Delicious.

    • Hi Janet πŸ™‚ Had bubble and squeak for breakfast yesterday morning- you just can’t beat it!!! One of my fav dishes. xxxxxxxx

  10. Francois Latry, creator of the original Woolton Pie didn’t actually leave a written copy of his pie and therefore various types are made. Sound delicious so I will give it a try

  11. Someone help me please! I’m making this at school and I need to know how big a big pie dish is? I’m worried that a pound of each of the vegetables is too much, and I’m thinking about halving it? PLEASE REPLY! I NEED TO KNOW FOR TOMORROW!

    • Hi Lucy- the above recipe makes 3 pies that are big enough for 2 people (each pie) so I’d say the above recipe would make 1 very large pie or halve it and make a medium size pie (that will feed 3 to 4). I’d still use the same amount of flour and margarine to make the pastry though, nice thick crust πŸ™‚

      Good luck! Carolyn xx

  12. I made this tonight, following the earlier post to first sautee all of the veggies, and adding gravy right into the pie. OMG! This is SO GOOD! I did the whole wheat crust for the pastry.

  13. Hello I love your site.. I’ve purchased several books about ration times. They all vary though in what you get for what age. You wouldn’t know off hand if I was gonna feed my family for a while like this how much I would use per week/mo for 2 adults, and 3 children age 2, 10 and 11? I’ve figured it out a couple different ways, but they all turn out so different depending on what I’m reading.

  14. I made this recipe, using the pre-sautee method for the veggies, deglazing the pan with red wine, and then using that in the gravy. I also mixed the gravy right into the casserole. It was awesome! I’ve made it three times so far. There is enough for me and my husband for dinner, plus lunch the next day. I’ve done the whole wheat crust, as well as served it with a side of sliced wartime loaf. So yummy and easy to make!

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