The Dock Pudding Cooking Competition Robbie Coltrane Almost Won

British actor and comedian Robbie Coltrane died on Oct. 14, 2022 at the age of 72 (via CNN). Coltrane was best known for playing Fitz on the television show "Cracker," Valentin Zukovsky in "The World is Not Enough," and, of course, Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" film franchise (via IMDB). Perhaps lesser known were his contributions to the culinary world. On his travel television show, "Robbie Coltrane's B Road Britain," Coltrane engaged in offbeat activities across his home country. Every once in a while, his adventures would touch on food and drink, like when Coltrane watched a rugby player take on a beer keg or when he almost won a dock pudding competition.

For those unaware, dock pudding is made using leaves from the bistort plant, per Love Food. The "dock" part comes into play because the leaves look similar to those of the dock plant. Despite their aesthetic similarities, these leaves are not actually the same thing. The pudding aspect is a result of mixing together nettles, oatmeal, onions, and seasoning. This concoction is then fried with rendered bacon fat, and, traditionally, bacon and eggs are thrown in to complete the breakfast dish. So, how did Robbie Coltrane, a man of the performing arts, go about nearly winning a dock pudding cooking competition?

World Dock Pudding Championship

While filming "Robbie Coltrane's B Road Britain," Coltrane stopped in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. It's in this Calder Valley village where dock pudding originated, and the World Dock Pudding Competition is hosted there every year, according to Traditional Yorkshire Recipes. As Coltrane explained in his show, the recipe dates back several hundreds of years. Thrifty villagers of old came up with the idea when hard times forced them to get creative with plants that were otherwise overlooked. "Ingredients are never varied," Coltrane noted. He went on to explain that the recipe is one that is strictly enforced by Yorkshire's mayor.

Doing his due diligence, Coltrane ventured into the local greenery and picked his weeds. Later in the kitchen, he boiled the leaves with stinging nettles, onions, and oats before spicing things up a bit. Coltrane broke with tradition and added Stilton cheese that was transported to Yorkshire in the trunk of his car. The cooking didn't stop there, though. The real challenge was reheating the pudding alongside an English breakfast in front of a local crowd. Ever a delight, Coltrane continued to joke as he warmed up some sausages, announcing, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to 'Celebrity Making an Arse of Himself.'"

The verdict? Mayor Betty Ward called his dish, " ... nice and sweet." In the end, Coltrane won second place. While his dock pudding may have only earned him second place, Robbie Coltrane will remain first in the hearts and memories of his fans.