Project 52: Rationing - Week 11 - Wartime Champ

In honor of St. Patrick's Day this week I thought I'd make an Irish dish with a rationing twist. I found a great recipe called "Wartime Champ" in my British Victory Cookbook. It's an interesting dish that cooks potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in a bit of water and then you mash it with salt and pepper and milk. It's a wonderfully basic recipe which I was hoping would go well with my corned beef. It fits right in with British (and Irish) staples of the time and with the extra veggies, it makes an interesting and more healthful alternative to just regular ol' mashed potatoes. Additionally, it's a fairly quick-cooking dish which would help save on rationed fuel and I like that it uses so little water which means all the vitamins were left with the veggies instead of being poured off. Using that vitamin-rich water and not wasting it was really emphasized during the war.

Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, salt & pepper
Also added are water and milk.
The recipe calls for 1 lb. potatoes, 1 lb. carrots, and one small head of cabbage.

I just had to show my cool antique shop find which I used to weigh my vegetables. :-) It's an old post office scale. It works very well too. I love manual scales over digital ones!
Isn't it cute?

 Slice the potatoes and carrots and put them in a largish pot.

Finely shred the cabbage and add to the pot. I added about half of what I had left of my large cabbage head. In the end I think I could have added more, because I didn't realize it would cook down so much.

Pour in a teacup full of lightly salted water (I added about 1 cup) and cook until carrots and potatoes are very tender.

Add 1/2 teacup full of milk (about 1/2 cup) and mash with salt & pepper to taste.

Lovely texture.
The carrots didn't mash up as well as the potatoes, but I liked that it had that chunky texture. 

 Add a pat of margarine or butter to each serving and serve right away.
This Wartime Champ was an awesome accompaniment to the corned beef and green beans we had for our Irish dinner. I had gravy to pour over it too instead of the butter. We were having guests for dinner and I was worried the recipe wouldn't be enough, but it served four adults and 2 children well with a bit leftover for my husband's lunch the next day. 

As for how it went with everyone - all the adults liked it well and our son asked for three helpings! I was really surprised by that. With regular mashed potatoes he would only eat them with ranch dressing. He ate this Wartime Champ plain and loved it. I'd say this recipe was a great success! 

What I liked about this recipe is how it revamps the idea of mashed potatoes. I've never been fond of mashed potatoes, but with the addition of carrots and cabbage it became something interesting and the flavor, I felt, was even better. Just like with mashed potatoes, you could get creative with this recipe. Crumbled bacon comes to mind... :-)

Victory Cookbook
by Margeurite Patten