Lord Woolton Pie. The classic World War 2 cheap vegetable pie with a delicious shortcrust pastry crust and loaded with lots of seasonal root vegetables. One of the best rationing meals during World War 2.
I have been eating my own version of Lord Woolton Pie for more than 20 years, without even knowing that such a thing existed during the second world war.
What I truly love to eat is root vegetables in a homemade cheese sauce. It was my meal of choice when I was a vegetarian and is often referred to among the Brits as Veggie Bake. It was always high on the calories thanks to the naughty homemade cheese sauce and during my vegetarian days I would want to eat it every day if I could!
When I found out what a Lord Woolton Pie really was, it was on the top of my list of must try World War 2 recipes that I was going to do during my rationing week.
There are two main versions of Lord Woolton Pie:
- Mashed Potatoes – This is when the topping is just like the top of a shepherd’s pie or a cottage pie. You have a root vegetable pie filling underneath.
- Pastry Crust – The second is where you have a shortcrust pastry topping to your Lord Woolton Pie and again the bottom of the pie is vegetables in a thick sauce.
- Mixture Of The 2 – A third option is where you fill the shortcrust pastry with some potato so that you can use less of your rationed baking ingredients.
What I am sharing with you today is version 2 of the Lord Woolton Pie just with one major difference. Instead of oats that was often used to thicken the sauce we are using a potato-based sauce. This is because as we are following World War 2 rations, we don’t have enough left for oats. Which was also a problem for many people during the war.
Lord Woolton Pie Ingredients
The Lord Woolton Pie usually involved a mixture of root vegetables that many people were growing in their dig for victory allotments.
But it was often a case of what was in season and what you had available to you. Just as long as they were hard enough and wouldn’t go too soft in the cooking process.
Based on what we had in we are making our Lord Woolton Pie with:
Parsnips are not very easy to locate in Portugal and are often over priced and cauliflower is out of season now. Like with during the war we are sticking to seasonal produce to make our Lord Woolton Pie.
Apart from the vegetables that we are using in our pie our Lord Woolton Pie will also include butter and flour to make the pie crust.Lord Woolton Pie @recipe_thisClick To Tweet
Peel and dice the potatoes. Clean and dice the leeks. Peel and dice the carrots and swede.
Place the prepped vegetables into the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker along with 250ml/1 cup of water.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook for 6 minutes on manual pressure.
While the vegetables are steaming prepare your shortcrust pastry and roll it out to the size of the oven proof dish that you’re cooking your pie in.
Use quick pressure release and drain the vegetables.
Place approximately 3 of the diced 9 potatoes into the blender along with a small amount of milk and the rosemary and blend until smooth. Add a little more if it needs it until it resembles a potato sauce.
Place the vegetables in an oven proof dish and pour over the potato sauce. Mix with a large spoon and make sure the vegetables are all covered in the sauce.
Layer the shortcrust pastry over the vegetable pie filling and brush the pastry with egg. Put a couple of knife marks in the centre of the pastry to allow the pie the chance to breathe.
Cook your Lord Woolton Pie in the oven for 45 minutes at 180c/360f.
10. Serve warm.
For egg wash you never need a full egg. We used half for this and half for another pie we were making. You can mix and match any root vegetables that you have. Parsnips and turnips are other delicious options. Avoid watery vegetables like courgette and pumpkin as it will ruin the pie.