Posted by: Erica Retrochef | May 13, 2013

Savoury Scalloped Peas


This ad is pretty hilarious, if you actually read the text. To paraphrase: “I doubted my darling! I went to his job and chatted with his hot secretary! She said she balances work and personal life thanks to Batchelors products! Yum, delicious, nourishing canned food!” I mean, yeah, canned food is pretty useful and convenient, but I had no idea it could also overcome chronic jealousy…


Savoury Scalloped Peas
(A luncheon or supper dish for 4 people)

1 large can Batchelors Peas
1 teaspoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 lb. cooked potatoes
1 large rasher of bacon
1/2 teaspoon meat extract
3 tablespoons water

Drain peas and mix with mint and sugar. Slice cooked potatoes and chop bacon. Grease a casserole and arrange these ingredients in alternate layers, finishing with potato. Pour over the meat extract dissolved in water, and dot with margarine. Bake in a fairly hot oven, Regulo 5 or 380°F. for about 30 minutes.

“Regulo 5” is as British a term as “rasher,” which seems to indicate that this isn’t an American brand. And then there’s this charming little jingle from 1950:

Actually, Batchelors is an Irish company. Well, to be as confusing as possible, there are two Batchelors — one British, one Irish. The Irish one still sells peas, though, and you can even get mushy peas if you’re into that sort of thing.


Well, in any case, we can’t get Batchelors peas on this side of the Atlantic, so there ya go. But we can get lovely fresh mint from my garden.


Mint is the only herb that I’ve ever managed to grow aside from basil. If it’s not a very hardy plant, I’ll eventually kill it. My thumbs are definitely not green.


I’ve never had peas with mint (or sugar), but it doesn’t taste terrible. Subtly sweet and quite pleasant, really.


Buzz pointed out — once I’d chopped up half a package — that a “rasher” of bacon is just one slice, not an entire wedge. Whoops. (I guess I’ll just claim that four small-medium rashers is equal to one large rasher? Yeah, totally plausible.)


The most tedious part of the recipe was slicing the mostly-cooked potatoes and then laying them out in the dish. It was starting to look like there wasn’t enough peas or bacon chunks, but we’ll have to taste it to see.


We assumed that “meat extract” is bouillon, and poured that all over the top with some dots of margarine. Time to Regulo 5 this casserole!


When I was describing this recipe, my daughter put on her preteen skeptical face. “OK, but all I’m going to eat is the potatoes,” she sighed. Once served, she proceeded to eat all the potatoes, all the peas, all the bacon, and then cleaned her plate of a second serving. Middle Boy insisted he hated the peas until he actually tasted a bite, and then he cleaned his plate and had seconds.


The only thing lacking was salt. The potatoes definitely needed some, although the bacon and peas were flavorful enough on their own. That’s easy to add at the table, though, and it’s an adjustment I can make next time before the final cooking stage. I’m planning on making this fairly often — although not “tomorrow” as the kids requested — since it’s simple, filling, and relatively nutritious. Well done, random jealous wife!

Super-dramatic housewife’s discovery of Batchelors canned vegetable products was brought to the internet by Shelf Life Taste Test.


  1. Who would have thought?? Canned peas?? Every evidence of a hot mess, but it turned out good…must have been the bacon (and taters).

    • I think the secret to tasty peas was the mint and sugar! I was pleasantly surprised as well 😀

    • We’ve had some other successful recipes with canned peas. The keys are to use high-quality canned peas (there are real differences between the premium and the generic varieties) and to have other stuff around the peas with both flavor and real texture (to ameliorate the basic mushiness of the peas).

  2. Sounds divine. My mouth watered all over my keyboard. I don’t do meat, so I would substitute Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon and vegetable broth. I would also use frozen peas instead of canned, but that’s just me.

    • You might want to go for a veggie ham instead of veggie bacon (I’m probably going to use ham next time I make it), but both vegetable broth and frozen peas would work great!

      • Thanks for the suggestion, but most of the veggie hams I tried were none-too-tasty

  3. that video is hilarious, and really, so is the print ad. it’s fascinating how acceptable it once was to give the consumer what is essentially the product spec sheet dressed up with a little picture or a song that barely scans.

    • I rather like the jingle, but you’re right that it doesn’t scan.

  4. I can’t get past the phrase “meat extract!”

  5. I know this is an old post, but I made this for my family and it was a hit. I wasn’t sure if I should cook the bacon first or not? I think next time I will, they were still a little fatty. Love this blog!!

    • If you like crispy bacon, definitely cook it first — when it’s all mixed in it has no chance to caramelize 🙂 Glad to hear it turned out well!

  6. […] sampled the Batchelors peas recipes before — remember Savoury Scalloped peas? And here’s another, with a slightly less strange recipe but just as strange a […]

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