The Ministry of Agriculture & Food created the fun character, Potato Pete, to encourage a healthy lifestyle during the war. Many people grew their own food inspired by the 'Dig For Victory' campaign and at one point there were as many as 1.4 million allotments within the UK. That's quite something!
Potatoes became a staple ingredient, and it's no surprise as they not only provide a lot of energy but plenty of Vitamin C, B1, B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium. The government released some recipes to inspire families in the kitchen and to help them to provide healthy yet delicious meals.
It's argued that the diets during the war were some of the healthiest the nation has seen so it might be worth trying some retro recipes at home today.
The Potato Council has given a modern makeover to several wartime classics to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day (8th May 2015) and I too have created my own recipe. Although traditional hotpots often contained beef shin or sausages this is a delicious chicken alternative.
1 tsp mustard
400ml chicken stock (made with two cubes)
2 tbsp mixed herbs
Approx 600g Desiree potatoes
1 tsp oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, peel and half the potatoes and cook for around 10 minutes. They should have softened slightly but not completely. Set to one side. We used Desiree potatoes as they hold their shape well and have a smooth texture.
- Dice the onion and cook in a pan over a low heat for a few minutes until soft
- Dice the chicken and add to the onion. Cook for a few minutes
- Add the mustard and mixed herbs and mix through quickly
- Slice the carrots and dice the mushrooms then add to the pan
- Add the passata, stock and flour immediately afterwards and leave everything to simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened (approx 10 minutes)
- Pour into an oven proof dish and level out
- Slice the cooled potatoes and layer them on top. Let them overlap slightly
- Brush the oil on top of the potatoes
- Cook for around 30 minutes until golden and crispy on top
What is your favourite potato based dish?
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