The ARRSE Cookbook

The ARRSE cookbook is going to happen!

Mysteron and myself are co-ordinating the project, which has official ARRSE support.

The working title is 'Cake and ARRSE - the British military cookbook'. The book will be published commercially, with profits going to military charities. Clearly, we'll have to pitch it to publishers so it needs to not only contain good quality recipes that work, but also be different to other books already on the market. The proposal is that it will include classic military food, such as the egg banjo, and recipes from places the British military have served around the world, linked by the influence the military have had on food in the UK through history.

We would like the recipes to come from ARRSErs - of all services. Recipes must be original (or traditional), and with a specific military connection, either historic or by origin. We can't use recipes copied from any author or publication. Traditional recipes are, of course, welcome, but please don't submit Jamie or Gordon's version!

It would be helpful if recipes could be submitted in the following format:

Ingredients (metric only)
Method (Oven temperatures in degrees Celsius only please)
Brief details of the 'military link'

Suggestions for accompanying drinks also welcome; as someone who doesn't drink wine, I'd like to have a beer recommendation too.

We've already picked up all the recipes already in this forum.

We are also looking for volunteers to form a testing panel, so that recipes can be tried to ensure that they work in a domestic kitchen and across a range of different cooker types, and with different pots and pans. If you are interested, please add your name to this thread, and we'll be in touch.


Book Reviewer
Just to echo ViroBono's words, we are both very excited about this project and have spent some time on the telephone discussing ideas. We are now quite clear on where we want to go with this and any help is very much appreciated.

I am currently building the lexicon of slang and phrases that have come from the military into normal life and some phrases that are exclusive to the military - so any additions are, again, appreciated but don't have a sad on if we tell you we have it and are being smart arses about it :wink: !!
ViroBono said:
The ARRSE cookbook is going to happen!
Fantastic! Put me down for one. If it's good I'll have two, one as a working copy.

ViroBono said:
The working title is 'Cake and ARRSE - the British military cookbook'.
Perfect title - don't change it!

Cuddles said:
Perhaps Sir Richard Dannatt's take on scrambled eggs could be included? Or Sir Jock Stirrup's osso bucco, lots of backbone on show. Oh and SOSD(V) could perhaps talk us through the hash he makes most days?
OK, perhaps missing out SOSD(V)s contribution (nice one Cuddles :wink: ), could we elicit something from Sir Richard (the peoples soldier) Dannatt? Perhaps a foreward?

mysteron said:
As to the book, I have been thinking about it whilst walking Mutt Mysteronand my thoughts about this sees a few chapters that are obvious:

"The Field Kitchen" - Classic Army Recipes, that the rest of the world don't eat and we see every day: Egg Banjos, Marmite Potatoes, Range Stew, etc.

"The Rat Pack" - How to improve 24hour Ration Packs. Possibly try and get a celebrity challenge.

"The Officers' Mess" - The fancy recipes.

"The Cookhouse" - Users variations on Basic and classic Recipes.

"The Hardest Course in the Army" - handy tips on how to improve your cooking techniques.

Thoughts anyone?
Good ideas there, need to add a Ghurka section though, for those of us that like some BURN in our food! :)

Perhaps a section at the beginning or end explaining words unusual outside of the green machine. i.e. egg banjo, treacle trackpad etc.


War Hero
I'll take one, maybe two, and I'll have a word with my brother who has in a previous incarnation been a cook in the TA, I'm sure I can rope him in for testing. He does a lot of work with the homeless, so he could test any recipes requiring large quantities?


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I would be happy to try out some of the recipes.

If you are to include a Ratpack section, you may have to do some research. I believe the latest version of the 24hr was designed by a head/top/celebraty chef. You may also want to include that it has 4500cal in one 24hr ratpack.

I have a mate at St Omer doing his prod subs course at the moment, if you want I can get him to do some digging to see if the collage will help in any way.


Book Reviewer
Terroratthepicnic - getting some info from your friend, that would be really appreciated. PM me or ViroBono when you are ready and we can discuss the logistics! Many Thanks.
You're limiting yourself severely with a "specific military connection", are you not, VB? Any latitude allowable?


Book Reviewer
Terror - PM seen and replied.

Whiskeybreath - VB and I have been doing a lot of research and I have been surprised as to how much there is out there but not easily found. It is still feasible - but challenging. Because of that, there is a niche or we would be finding the information really easily.
Food from the empire (or colonies) which ever is more PC

as your probably aware the UK has supported many countries who do have fantastic foods etc

Asia (India, Nepal)
Hong Kong
Africa (parts of)
West Indies etc
Middle East

and of course good food from blighty

i would be happy to try some recipes out as well




War Hero
Great idea for a cookbook - I'd buy at least a couple. I'd also like to help test recipes if you still need volunteers...civ domestic kitchen with lots of mil/ex mil visitors to use a guinea pigs!
Good find Bovvy. However, the proposal to a publisher would note the comp and explain why Cake & ARRSE would be a best seller within weeks of publication. I can think of around 30,000 potential buyers willing to part with, say, £10?


Book Reviewer

Thanks - we will keep you posted. V_B & I are flat out and will get in touch as soon as we have enough to get people going.
I'll tap my dad for recipes from the '50s when he was in and I'm happy to be a guinea pig cooker (not a cooker of guinea pigs, you understand, I'm not from South America!) :D
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
mercurydancer COVID-19 276
ThunderBox The NAAFI Bar 4
Gundulph Cookery 1

Latest Threads