Groaty Pudding

Location: Cradley Heath
Era: 1960

“Groaty pudding is a traditional Black Country dish which is a kind of stew – a cheap food. Certainly, in my childhood it was what people ate on bonfire night and my Nanny used to make it. It gets its name from groats, which are a cereal. Nowadays it tends to get used more as animal feed. It’s like a grain of barley that has to be boiled and soaked for a long time. It makes a gloopy stew, a bit like pearl barley. With cheap cuts of stewing beef, with a few added vegetables. I use my Father’s recipe (Horace Tromans, former Mayor of Sandwell) that he got from his Grandmother. I love it. I find it very comforting and homely and it really fills you up. To cook, you have to plan ahead to soak your grains. But once you’ve chopped things up you just throw it in the pan and boil it for a long, long time.”
Judith Oliver


  • 6oz groats (soak overnight)
  • One large onion (chopped)
  • One leek
  • One carrot
  • 1oz butter
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 1lb of stewing steak
  • One litre of stock
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 oz flour
  • Salt & Pepper

Melt butter in saucepan or casserole dish with oil, then sauté the onion and bacon (do not brown).

Add vegetables and gently sweat for 10-15 minutes.

Sprinkle about 1oz of flour and seasoning.

Add the soaked groats and pour the stock over and simmer for 45 minutes.

Make sure the meat is tenderised and chopped into small pieces (or ask butcher to do!)

Then add to the pot after 20 minutes.

After then there is no science involved; cooking is an art. The art is to simmer slowly or as your Grandmother Walker would say “Sook for a wick and cook for a fortnight”.

Take from the heat when all ingredients are tender and set aside until required.

Then gently reheat. Have more stock ready if needed to dilute the broth.

Bon Appétit!