Groaty Dick

Groaty Pudding, or Groaty Dick as it is called in the Black Country of the English Midlands, is a traditional English folk dish. Like all such things, it is made of cheap, easily obtainable ingredients and is very simple, but usually time consuming. In the past meat was expensive but people did have the time to prepare them and could get the most out of even the cheapest cuts. The cheapest meat is usually the toughest, so it was cooked for a long time, sometimes up to sixteen hours, and traditionally was done in an earthenware pot. Using better meats reduces that time dramatically, as below. Any groats – hulled oats or pearl barley, for example – is good. Groaty Dick is traditionally associated with Bonfire Night for some reason.



250g stewing beef, diced.

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped.

The white part of 1 large leek, sliced.

¼ tsp white pepper.

Salt to taste.

¾ cup hulled oats or pearl barley [groats].

2 cups beef stock.



Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place all the ingredients in your traditional earthenware casserole [cast iron is really good, too], stir well, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours. Check half way through the cooking and top up with a little more stock, as the grains will absorb moisture as they expand and become tender.


Serve with: I did this with asparagus and broccoli with yoghurt, but there is no need to go to such extremes. Roast potatoes or boiled new potatoes, and mixed vegetables are just as good.


Serves: 2.


Remember, remember,

The fifth of November.

Gunpowder, treason and plot.

There is no reason

Why gunpowder treason

Ever should be forgot.



%d bloggers like this: