Mock Brains – Recipe No. 191

Mock recipes were created during the war because people missed the ‘real thing’ during times of rationing. Forgive me for saying this but SERIOUSLY, were brains so popular before the war that people really missed eating them? It would appear so…

Someone had posted this recipe on a 1940s food group on Facebook. Once I had recovered from the image of ‘Anthony Hopkins’ as Hannibal Lecture exhibiting a ‘Flehmen Response’ to the thought of human flesh and fava beans with a nice Chianti, despite being a vegetarian, I HAD to try this weirdness. Thankfully the massacre of oats was the only heinous crime I was about to commit…

Let me tell you, these mock brains were TASTY (but only with lots of seasoning and browning in fat). I was impressed as much as I was with the ‘MOCK BLACK PUDDING’ so don’t be afraid of trying these. They are so cheap to make which isn’t a bad thing right now with no work and no jobs!  I greedily ate these ALL for my lunch with a salad. I’d even go as far as to say if you added some garlic and extra spices like hickory smoke and paprika, you could cook them in fat in smaller nugget shapes and once they had cooled slightly, enjoy them with a nice tomato sauce or dip as a treat. I’d go for it and quite easily forget this was actually porridge!



  • 1 cup of leftover porridge
  • 1 tablespoon of self-raising flour
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 egg
  • large pinch of thyme
  • salt and pepper



Chop the onion very fine, mix into the porridge, add the flour and flavouring, bind together with the beaten egg, form into rissoles, roll in flour then fry in hot fat until brown.


My tips: Don’t skimp on the frying fat, this will help give it some flavour. Add lots of salt and pepper and herbs and spices you like.










13 thoughts on “Mock Brains – Recipe No. 191

  1. Those look good! I’m going to try them this week! I’ve been looking for some meat alternative recipes my family might like, and those look sort of like sausages!

    I think I have some suet in my freezer… I might chop a little of it and mix it in to make it more sausage-like and to give it some sausage-like texture.

    Several abattoirs/slaughter houses are temporarily closed here in the states, so prices of meat have gone up and it is getting a little difficult finding hamburger (mince). It is probably only for the short term, however.

    Thanks for trying these recipes out for us and giving us a review! It’s helpful.


  2. Hi Carolyn,
    I’ve been following your posts since your Nova Scotia days.

    I make my patties with uncooked oats. Add finely diced onion, mushrooms, celery and chopped nuts of choice. Enough egg to form the patties. I pan fry on both sides so a crust forms. Transfer them to a baking dish and cover with a white sauce, gravy or mushroom soup. Season the patties and sauce as you like. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 50 minutes.

    Need to make some later this week. We never seem to have leftover porridge since our dog feels she deserves to eat whatever we have.

    Here in central Ontario beef is being rationed, 2 packs per customer. The same holds true for chicken. Flour is almost non-existent, yeast is nowhere to be found. I’m grateful that I learned early on to keep a pantry.

    You should check out 3abn dot org for vegan recipes.


  3. Brains were a delicacy because you ate them very fresh (the next meal after butchering) same with lungs. They don’t keep well in the butcher’s case like kidneys, tongue, sweetbreads, tripe or liver. Brains aren’t eaten now because of Mad Cow Disease accumulates in the brains and spinal columns.
    I would call that recipe a savory oatcake myself. I wonder how left-over mashed potatoes would work in them? Probably still need the flour for the gluten as the binder.


  4. Pingback: 10 great 1940s ration book recipes to celebrate VE Day – The 1940's Experiment

  5. Pingback: Reblog: Mock Brains – Recipe No. 191 — The 1940’s Experiment – Fit for Denton

  6. Hello, I’m currently doing archive research for a TV programme about WW2 and was wondering if I could enquire as to where you sourced your recipe for Mock Brains please? Regards Kate

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s bound to be better than actual fried brains – which I was not impressed with. Then again, I prepared them myself, I’d be interested in trying brains prepared by someone who actually knows what they’re doing.


  8. In fact, I just want to add, that I’ve just now finding the recipe in 1930s cookbooks (such as Brown & Poulson’s Cornflour in Australia), so, yeah, nothing to do with rationing of brains per se.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I grew up as a child in the early 1960s, with my mother cooking Scrambled Eggs and Brains. I thought them delicious. Looking back, most children would put Ketchup on many things, this dish was no exception. I would spread it on toast. I fondly miss both, the scrambled eggs and brains, as well as my dear mother.


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