Noble Nettle Gruel

Gruel down the centuries gets a bad rap, courtesy of super snobs with their pretentious pontificating on what deems ‘good taste’. The phrase ‘food fascists’ comes to mind.

I mean let’s face it, oysters used to be seen as food for the poor back in the 1800s, spat on by those who in their delusion think they are our masters and betters when it comes to ‘ taste & culture’.

Then suddenly these clots decided (on a whim most probably), that the humble oyster was now something to be praised. Raised up and placed into the higher echelons of the ‘epicurean class’.

Unfortunately the noble gruel has never quite made it. What a pity as my latest nettle gruel recipe is going to prove.

Shamelessly inspired by a recipe from the 1600s, I have adapted it for the modern noble peasant out there, of which I am proud to be a member of such an esteemed fellowship.

Food without f(art), which basically means gorgeous scrumminess, without the need to be a bloody master chef finalist.

Food porn is great, and I’ll eat and have eaten and do eat at some of the finest dining tables in Christendom… but when you get home knackered after a day working, and simply don’t have four hours to show off your culinary expertise, then this “down to earth, home cooked like grannie used to make it” recipe will hopefully be a breath of fresh air.

All hail the noble gruel…!!!

Nettle Gruel Recipe Ingredients

  • 200g nettle tops
  • 20g butter
  • 600ml nettle water
  • 200g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 6tbsp medium oatmeal (not oat flakes)
  • salt & pepper

Nettle Gruel Recipe Instructions

  1. Wash the nettle tops, put in a saucepan and pour enough boiling water over them to cover them.
  2. Boil gently for 10 minutes, then strain and chop them up, reserving the nettle water for later.
  3. Gently fry the bacon lardons in butter, until browned.  Pour the fat over the chopped nettles and mash together.
  4. Put 600ml of nettle water in a pan and bring to a simmer then sprinkle in the oatmeal, and stir all the time until it thickens to the consistency of porridge which will take around 15-20 minutes.
  5. Next stir in the chopped nettles, and bacon lardons, and mix well, then season with salt and pepper.

Serves: 2

Further reading: Traditional and Modern Use of Stinging Nettle

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