Traditional Swaledale recipes

The ‘Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes recipe book’ (from the Swaledale Museum)

We are currently running a project to collect favourite local recipes from the two dales area. In many cases, these can be cooked using ingredients that can be sourced very locally, both showcasing the quality of our local produce, and minimising the environmental impact of transporting goods long distances.

We were delighted to see that the Swaledale Museum recently published some post-war (c. 1951) recipes from the ‘Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Recipe Book’ – read the Museum’s newsletter here for the fascinating story behind this piece of local history.

Some of the recipes from this book are reproduced below (with kind permission from the Swaledale Museum). Why not try them out?

Children’s Tea Buns

Submitted by Reeth WI

  • 1 1⁄2 lb flour
  • 3 oz lard
  • 1 oz yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 pint of milk and water (warm)
  • a little salt.

Rub the lard in the flour, make a hole in the centre then add the milk and water and two thirds of the egg beaten, sprinkle in the yeast with a teaspoonful of sugar, let it stand for a few minutes then mix thoroughly. Put in a warm place to rise for 1⁄2 an hour.

Roll out about 1⁄2 inch thickness and sprinkle a layer of currants and a little sugar on this, roll up and cut in slices 1⁄2 inch thick. Brush over with remaining egg. Let rise for 5 minutes then bake in a hot oven.

Savoury Pie

Submitted by Reeth WI

  • Thin slices cooked meat
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teacup of good gravy
  • 2 lbs of potatoes parboiled
  • Salt and pepper.

Arrange slices of meat in a pie dish with layers of tomatoes and onion, add salt and pepper, repeat until all is used up and then pour in enough gravy to moisten the whole. Cover the dish with parboiled potatoes cut in blocks, lay on top small pieces of dripping or butter and bake the pie till the potatoes are a nice brown.

Supper Dish

Submitted by Reeth WI

Boil 4 or more large onions until nearly cooked, then add 2 or more tomatoes and boil for 10 minutes, then add 1 egg well beaten, a small piece of butter, pepper and salt to taste. Serve very hot.

Tomato Savoury

Submitted by Low Row WI

  • 8 oz tomatoes skinned
  • 4 oz breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1⁄2 oz of shallot

Shred shallot finely and cook with a little of the butter in a pie dish until just coloured. Add the tomatoes and then the breadcrumbs and lastly the butter thinly sliced. Bake 30 minutes in a fairly brisk oven.

Savoury Sausage Dish

Submitted by Low Row WI

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 onion grated
  • 1⁄2 pint milk
  • 1⁄4 lb breadcrumbs

Place sausages in casserole, mix breadcrumbs and grated onion, season to taste, spread over the sausage and pour over the 1⁄2 pint milk. Bake slowly for 3⁄4 hour.

3 thoughts on “Traditional Swaledale recipes”

  1. Interesting that a couple of the recipes include breadcrumbs. I suspect that is because the prudent post war cook had to find a use for bread that had started to go slightly stale. but was too good to waste. I remember in the 1960s that my mum would put stale crusts in the oven while cooking the dinner and then crush them with a rolling pin and keep them in a big jar ready for use. Other uses for stale bread which I really enjoyed were bread and butter pudding and bread pudding

    1. Yes, and strangely enough, this is something we’ve had to start thinking about as a quirk of the current lockdown. We now get a weekly delivery of fresh bread through our community support group, which is more bread, more regularly, than we had in the past – therefore there is often a stale crust to make use of. In our case it often goes towards adding some crunch to the top of an oven-baked dish, along with some cheese & herbs.

      1. Breadcrumbs freeze well, and if you’re using as a topping they can be cooked from frozen. Try mixing with finely grated cheese and olive oil for “poor mans’ Parmesan” or with butter and sugar for a Brown Betty pudding (similar to a crumble.

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