Friday, 21 September 2012

Food Waste Friday - Pease Pudding Hot, Pease Pudding Cold!

Pease Pudding Hot,
Pease Pudding Cold,
Pease Pudding in the pot, 
Nine days old.

This week a couple of rookie food waste errors occurred through not refrigerating leftovers quickly enough.

The remains of a split pea and vegetable curry had to be discarded, as it had sat in a pan on the top of the cooker for just too long.  Not quite nine days old, but getting there!

In an attempt to appease the god of split peas, I used up the rest of the packet by making some Pease Pudding (or should it have been called Appease Pudding?)

On our trips to the North East we always enjoy Pease Pudding, which is readily available in all the local food shops, and we bring a tub back with us. But there's really no reason to wait for a foray up North to indulge, as it's easy to make, and super healthy and frugal.

Finest Pease Pudding,.
A souvenir from our May visit to the North East of England.

It's been eaten in Britain for centuries; in the past the British preference was for 'pease' over other pulses. (Mediterranean puy lentil pudding hot, Meditaerranean puy lentil pudding cold, just doesn't have the same ring about it somehow.) It also pre-dates the potato as a starchy accompaniment.  It was traditionally eaten with bacon or ham, and still is.  The salt of the bacon, ham or gammon offsets the blandness of the Pease Pudding nicely. The 'Pudding' part of the name comes from the fact that it was cooked in a cloth in the same pot as the meat.

We ate it hot with sausages mid-week, and I had it cold for lunch today.  We didn't leave it until it was nine days old! (Some sources suggest that by then, it would have started fermenting, and may have been eaten for its miso-like quality.)

Finest homemade Pease Pudding cold, 2 days old. A leftovers lunch.
The mediaeval  equivalent of houmous, perhaps?

Pease Pudding recipe

  • 300g/10oz dried yellow split peas
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • freshly ground black pepper

  1. Soak the peas overnight in cold water.
  2. Fry the onion, thyme and bay leaf until softened.
  3. Add the peas and bring to the boil with 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water.
  4. Simmer until the peas are soft (25 - 30 mins).
  5. Blend to a puree, and add some more butter, the egg, the nutmeg, and season to taste.

(Note: This is the official recipe; I use vegetable oil instead of butter, and I left out the egg.  It tastes just as good.)

Bonus pease pudding fact! There is a village in Sussex called Pease Pottage.  There are several theories as to why: pease pudding or pottage may have been fed to convicts on their way from London to the South Coast, and from East Grinstead to Horsham, or it may have been that the muddy ground in that area was rather like the consistency of pease pudding.

Food Waste Friday was dreamt up by, to encourage people to use up food instead of waste it.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    Interesting about pease pudding. I learned the rhyme "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold". But I've never known what peas porridge (pudding) was.
    Our food waste was a handful of salad. But the one whose salad that was, happened to be under the weather, so off to the compost bin it went.

  2. Just like, Lili, I never knew that peas porridge from the nursery rhyme was "pea soup" so to speak. Thanks for the lesson today.

  3. Glad that I've been able to educate you both in the origin of pease pudding/porridge! :-)

  4. On another note, I made French Toast for breakfast this morning after your questions about it. We had it with homemade maple syrup that my father made and it was really good. Thanks for the idea.