Bacon and Potato Hotpot

Frugal Cooking – or how to make 3 bacon rashers feed 2!

My main challenge for this week of eating World War II rations has been how to make dishes that feed one or two.  The challenge for the single person household during the war was that much of the food available required long, slow cooking to make it palatable.  And, without a freezer to save ‘single’ portions of a stew or mince dish, life could get very boring.

potato and bacon hotpot 2

This particular dish is something I make in a slightly different form today.  By choice I would use a ham hock, boil it down and use the stock as part of the casserole.  But, I couldn’t find one in the shops, and of course my ‘ration’ allowed me 4 rashers of bacon.  I’m saving one for the end of the week, but I used three rashers to make a wartime version of a dish I still eat today.  My modern version involves using caraway seeds and ham hock.  The war time version used vegetable stock and bacon.  It wasn’t bad at all!

Frugal Bacon and Potato Hotpot

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 Large Potato (Peeled and sliced)
  • 1 Large Onion (Peeled and sliced)
  • 3 Rashers of Bacon
  • 500ml Stock (or milk (can be made up with milk powder))
  • 1 handful Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)


Step 1 Fry the bacon in a heavy bottomed casserole so that the fat sweats out. Once it is cooked remove from the pan and allow to cool
Step 2 potato and bacon hotpot cooking 1
Put a layer of about half the onion in the bottom of the casserole, season with salt and pepper, then a layer of potato, then half the bacon, diced.
Step 3 potato and bacon hotpot cooking
Repeat with a layer of onion, season again, then add the remaining bacon, then the the remaining potato arranged neatly.
Step 4 Pour over the stock or milk and bake in a moderate oven (about 140c) for 45 minutes till the potato is soft. If the top isn't browned at this stage, turn the oven up to 170c for 10 minutes.
Step 5 Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

The quantities here fed me happily for 2 days…and used nothing from my ration allowance other than 3 out of 4 rashers of bacon!


wartime kitchen



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