Dock Pudding is a distinctive West Yorkshire dish apparently made only in the Calder Valley. It consists of dock leaves, nettles, oatmeal, onions, butter and seasoning, heated through to form part of a ‘traditional’ Yorkshire breakfast. The dock leaves used are from the sweet variety, Polygonum Bistorta, not from the common cow dock leaves. The spinach-like dock leaf is usually fried together with the other ingredients and served with bacon and eggs.
During the Second World War, the German propagandist William Joyce, better known as ‘Lord Haw Haw’ announced on German radio that food rationing was so bad in Yorkshire that people had resorted to eating ‘grass’, unaware that dock pudding was supposed to be a delicacy!
First held in 1971, Mytholmroyd Community & Leisure Centre continues to host the World Dock Pudding Championship every year in April.
Recipe for Dock Pudding
1kg fresh, sweet variety dock leaves (polygonum bistorta)
2 large onions, or 2 large bunches of spring onions
A handful of oatmeal
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and clean the dock leaves and remove the stalks
Wash and clean the nettles
Chop the onions
Fry the vegetables in the butter until tender
Add the oatmeal and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking, the pudding is then ready for eating or for storing in a sealed container