Grom the Paunch is part of Total War: Warhammer II‘s The Warden & The Paunch DLC. The grossly obese, self-styled Goblin King has Grom’s Cauldron as a unique mechanic. You’ll collect ingredients, interact with the Food Merchant, undertake cooking challenges, and create new recipes from scratch — and there are even some secret recipes to find. Here’s our guide to help you out.
Note: This guide is based on a Vortex campaign playthrough on VH/VH difficulty. For more information, you can also check out our Total War: Warhammer II – The Warden & The Paunch guides and features hub.
Total War: Warhammer II – Cooking with Grom the Paunch
Grom’s Cauldron has 25 total ingredients and 15 unique recipes to find. The more recipes Grom cooks, the stronger he becomes. Similarly, the main goal in your Total War: Warhammer II campaign is to cook 12 different dishes. This will allow you to fight Eltharion the Grim in the Siege of Tor Yvresse final battle.
Now, when it comes to the ingredients, you can unlock them via the following means:
- Unlock requirements – Each ingredient has a specific task that you need to do in order to unlock it.
- Food Merchant – The Food Merchant also sells a random ingredient for 1,000 gold (more on this character later).
- Sunken treasures – These can randomly provide you with Fishy Chunks-type ingredients.
Grom’s Cauldron ingredients
There are five types of ingredients and they’re all color-coded. You can use this as a clue when looking at the Grom’s Cauldron recipes panel. Additionally, the ingredients that you place inside Grom’s Cauldron will provide their buffs.
Note: The ingredient buffs have faction-wide effects unless stated otherwise.
|Beast Blitz (orange)|
|Troll Meat||Available by default||“Regeneration” passive for Goblin and Night Goblin infantry units|
|Lion Meat||Win a battle against an army with lions, lion chariots, lion hybrids, or lion mounts (ie. High Elves – White Lions of Chrace)||+10 speed for Goblin cavalry, Goblin chariots, and Squig Herd units; +12 charge bonus for Squig units|
|Lizard Legs||Win a battle against an army with giant, dinosaur-like creatures or mounts (ie. Lizardmen – Saurus Oldblood)||+15 armor and +8 leadership for Goblin cavalry, Goblin chariots, and Squig Herd units|
|Boar Meat||Equip a character with a War Boar mount (ie. Orc Warboss lord)||+10 charge bonus and +10% weapon strength for Orc and Big ‘Uns cavalry and chariot units|
|Gobbo Legs||Obtain a trophy from a successful Call to Waaagh!||“Berserk” passive for Orc infantry units (all armies)|
The “Regeneration” passive from Troll Meat is decent in the early-game primarily for your lords or heroes. It’s just that your weaker infantry units will take too much of a beating for it to matter during battles. During the mid-game, I switched to Lizard Legs since I had quite a few Goblin Wolf/Spider/Squig Riders in my armies.
|Mucky Stuff (yellow)|
|Centigor Milk||Win a battle against an army with six-limbed, centaur-like creatures (ie. Tomb Kings – Khemrian Warsphinx)||“Immense Power” passive for Rogue Idols; +10% research rate|
|Spider Egg Yolk||Recruit an Anachronok Spider (requires Sacred Spider Groundz building from Wolf Den chain)||Adds five Lava Spider Archers units to your Regiments of Renown pool; “Maternal Instinct” ability for Anachronok Spiders (spawn Spiderlings during battles)|
|Ectoplasm||Defeat an army with ghostly apparitions (ie. Vampire Counts – Syreens)||“Ghostly Protection” passive for Rogue Idols; -20% casualties suffered from all types of attrition|
|Monster Goo||Recruit Da Swamp Fings Regiment of Renown (requires a character to hit level 16 first)||“Monstrous Disease” passive for Trolls and Giants; +2 recruit rank for Troll units|
|Stunty Ale||Sack a Dwarf settlement (Karak Zorn is your best bet since it’s close by, otherwise, you’ll end up having to travel all the way to the Spine of Sotek region in Lustria just to find more Dwarfs)||“Dulled Senses” passive for Trolls and Giants; -50% recruitment cost for Troll units|
Stunty Ale is great once you’ve got a lot of trolls and giants in your army since this will make them unbreakable. Ultimately, though, I rarely ended up using yellow-type ingredients in recipes unless I still need to increase my tally.
|Fishy Chunks (blue)|
|As mentioned earlier, these ingredients can be randomly rewarded when you check out sunken treasures at sea. Alternatively, you can obtain them if you sack race-specific settlements.|
|Goldfish||Sack an Empire settlement||+10% income from all buildings; -1 global recruitment duration; +8 obedience (public order) in all provinces|
|Tentacles||Sack a Norscan settlement.||+10% income from sacking and looting settlements; enables frostbite attacks for all characters|
|Hard Shell Crab||Sack a Vampire Coast settlement||+10 scrap; +12% physical resistance for Goblin and Night Goblin units; +10% income from raiding|
|Ocean Clams||Sack a Bretonnian settlement||Gain a random amount of gold; +10% casualty replenishment rate|
|Pufferfish||Win a battle against an army with a Bloated Corpse (ie. Vampire Coast)||Adds five Soopa-Squig units (exploders) to your Regiments of Renown pool; “Spiky Skin” passive for Goblin and Night Goblin infantry units|
Goldfish is one of the better blue ingredients around thanks to bonus income and obedience (public order), as well as the reduction to global recruitment times. I also sometimes use Hard Shell Crab (if a blue ingredient is needed for a recipe) just to boost raiding income and scrap generation. As for the Pufferfish, I didn’t notice a big difference with the “Spiky Skins” passive, and the exploder Squigs weren’t really that helpful since Grom the Paunch’s battle Waaagh! mechanic requires units to be engaged in melee. It was too risky to have exploder Squigs running around.
|Sporez n’ Shroomz (red)|
|Green Sporez||Automatically unlocked as your second ingredient when you complete the first step for Blacktoof’s Head in a Jar. The requirement is to have 50 scrap at the start of your turn.||+5 reputation (for the Call to Waaagh! mechanic); +10 growth in all provinces|
|Indigo Milk Caps||Reach level 15 with an Orc Shaman||-25% hero action cost; +10% hero action success chance|
|Stinky Fungi||Reach level 15 with a Giant River Troll Hag||-8 enemy leadership; -5 enemy siege holdout time (minimum 1 turn)|
|Glowing ‘Shrooms||Reach level 15 with a Goblin Great Shaman or Night Goblin Shaman||-10% spell cooldown; +10 starting Winds of Magic amount|
|Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms||Recruit any Night Goblin Fanatic unit (requires Black Orc Barracks from Musta Fieldz building chain)||“Frenzy” passive for Goblin and Night Goblin units; +25% fire resistance|
Green Sporez is the second ingredient you unlock in your Total War: Warhammer II campaign, and its buff is decent enough to help you increase your Waaagh! rep and province growth. Later, you can opt for Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms.
|Flyin’ Gubbinz (green)|
|Dragon Tail||Win a battle against an army with any Dragon, Wyvern, or Frost Wyrm creature, including mounts (ie. High Elf – Moon Dragon)||“Dragon Breath” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; projectiles will cause explosions|
|Harpy Head||Sack a Dark Elf settlement||+10% ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units
“Harpy Teeth” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; increased number of projectiles
|Eagle Talons||Retrieve the Axe of Grom; refer to our Grom the Paunch quest battles guide for more info||“Eagle Sight” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; increased armor-piercing damage|
|Winged Leather||Win a battle against an army with a flying creature from Lustria or winged machinery, including mounts (ie. Lizardmen – Ripperdactyl)||+10% range for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units
“Hollow Bone” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; causes anti-large damage
|Phoenix Claws||Obtain a Call to Waaagh! trophy against any Elf faction||“Phoenix Fire” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; causes fire damage|
Dragon Tail is one of the most useful green ingredients around since it’ll make your arrows go boom. Alternatively, you can switch to Winged Leather because it’s likely that you won’t have a lot of (great) anti-large options down the road.
Grom’s Cauldron recipes
Here’s the gist when it comes to Grom the Paunch’s cooking recipes:
- New recipes can be taught by the Food Merchant or discovered when combining ingredients (we have these listed below).
- You have to combine two main ingredients in order to create a unique recipe.
- Only one ingredient per “color” is allowed — ie. red + orange or red + blue.
Next, let’s talk about the buffs:
- The individual effects from each ingredient will be taken into account. Let’s say you want something that can benefit Goblin and Night Goblin units, you can combine Phoenix Claws (green) and Troll Meat (orange). This will give you “Regeneration” for infantry units and “Phoenix Fire” ammunition for missile units.
- Additionally, recipes provide specific buffs for Grom.
- The buffs from recipes last 15 turns or until you cook a new recipe.
- Switching to a different active recipe costs 50 scrap, and you can only cook once per turn.
Note 1: The more new recipes get cooked, the stronger Grom becomes. He’ll gain bonuses to his HP, leadership for Goblin units, and additional capacity for Goblin Big Bosses. Lastly, once you’ve cooked all 15 recipes, Grom gets the “Perfect Vigor” attribute.
Note 2: As mentioned, you only need to take note of the color-coded ingredients to create a majority of recipes. Since we already listed the ingredient-specific buffs, we’ll focus on the recipe-specific buffs for Grom.
|The Magnum Pizza||Orange + yellow||+15% physical resistance and +15 melee defense (Grom only)|
|Grom’s Surf & Turf||Orange + blue||+10% casualty replenishment rate for Goblin units and +10% casualty replenishment (Grom’s army)|
|Shroom ‘n’ Offal Sausage||Orange + red||“Bangers & Smash” ability and +25 charge bonus (Grom only)|
|Misty Mountain Broth||Orange + green||Enables sundering attacks and +100 base weapon damage (Grom only)|
|Gobbo Seafood Quiche||Yellow + blue||“Goggly Glare” ability and “Terror” attribute (Grom only)|
|Cheesy ‘Shrooms||Yellow + red||“Slime Smoothie” ability and “Stalk” attribute (Grom only)|
|Nuggets ‘n’ Slime||Yellow + green||+20% campaign line-of-sight, +10% campaign movement range, and immunity to attrition (Grom’s army)|
|Fishy ‘Shroom Burgers||Blue + red||“Fishy Breath” ability and “Perfect Vigor” attribute (Grom only)|
|Bony Meat Skewers||Blue + green||“Spiky Skin” passive and +30% missile resistance (Grom only)|
|Wyvern Stew||Red + green||“Unbreakable” attribute and “Frenzy” passive (Grom only)|
Once I unlocked the Misty Mountain Broth recipe, it’s the delicacy I picked since it turns Grom the Paunch into an absolute killer. I believe I used the Lizard Legs (orange) + Dragon Tail (green) due to the composition of my armies.
Ah, but we’re not stopping there. That’s because there are also five secret recipes to discover while you’re completing your Total War: Warhammer II campaign as Grom the Paunch. These can be discovered as you complete some Blacktoof’s Head in a Jar missions.
There are color combinations for the main ingredients, sure, but you’ll also need to add an extra ingredient once you unlock additional slots. We’ll get to that in a while, but, for now, let’s look at the secret recipes:
|Secret Recipe Result||Main Ingredient Combinations||Extra Ingredient||Effects|
|Fried Squirrel Fish||Green + blue||Spider Egg Yolk||Enables lighting strike battles when reinforcements are present (Grom only);
15% ambush success chance (all armies)
|Elven Foie Gras||Red + orange||Eagle Talons||+4 recruit rank for all units;
-2 turns global recruitment;
+50 unit experience gain per turn (faction-wide)
|Bugman’s Battered Ribs||Red + orange||Stunty Ale||+15% missile strength for artillery units;
+15% ammunition for artillery units;
“Flash Bomb” ability (Grom’s army)
|Mork’s Blood Pudding||Yellow + orange||Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms||“Fiery Convocation” spell;
Enables flammable attacks;
Enables flaming attacks (Grom only)
|Ghost Crab Royale||Blue + orange||Ectoplasm||“Fear” attribute for Goblins and Night Goblins (all armies);
+10% ward save (Grom only)
Mork’s Blood Pudding was another go-to choice during the mid-game thanks to the effects that it provided, but Fried Squirrel Fish was also fairly decent when you’re picking off hostile forces one by one. However, once I had amassed a lot of gold while raiding and sacking as Grom the Paunch, I switched to Elven Foie Gras. It’s ridiculously helpful when you’re recruiting top-tier units.
The Food Merchant
You might be asking how in the blue hell does Grom the Paunch get additional ingredient slots for his secret recipes? Well, the answer is the Food Merchant. You’ll be notified whenever this character appears near one of your settlements, and you can move a lord or hero there to start the interaction.
You’re then presented with a dilemma:
- Buy the Hag’s Carrion – Obtain the ingredient that’s listed on the panel; costs 1,000 gold.
- Let the Hag Cook – The Food Merchant cooks a random recipe in Grom’s Cauldron, replacing the one you already have.
- Daylight Robbery – Gain +50 scrap and +500 gold, but you won’t obtain an ingredient.
- Cook for the Hag – Challenge the Food Merchant to a cook-out.
Buying a listed ingredient is actually very useful in case you don’t think you’d be able to complete a certain task but you want to unlock the recipe as soon as possible. For instance, the Dragon Tail, Phoenix Claws, Ectoplasm, and Centigor Milk ingredients took a while for me to obtain during my Total War: Warhammer II playthrough. Also, if you forgot to sack Karak Zorn, your best bet is to wait for the Stunty Ale to get sold by the Food Merchant, unless you want to travel all the way to Lustria to fight the Spine of Sotek Dwarfs.
The Food Merchant’s challenge: Unlocking additional ingredient slots
As for the “Cook for the Hag” choice, this lets you challenge the Food Merchant. All you need to do is cook the correct recipe based on clues. If you successfully complete this challenge, you’ll unlock an extra ingredient slot for Grom’s Cauldron. Make sure to complete a couple of these since there are two slots that can be unlocked.
Below are a few examples that I’ve found during Grom the Paunch’s campaign in Total War: Warhammer II as well as those crowdsourced by Steam forum users:
|Food Merchant Dialogue||Combination||Clue||Result|
|“Mushy meats, mushy meats, mushy meats!”||Red + orange||Mushy meats simply means (mush)room and troll/lion/boar meat.||Shroom ‘n’ Offal Sausage|
|“Four-legged land-beasts pizza; no cold-blood meats!”||Yellow + orange||Have either Lion Meat or Boar Meat as the orange ingredient.
Trolls are two-legged and lizards are cold-blooded, so they probably don’t count.
|The Magnum Pizza|
|“Da richest quiche!”||Yellow + blue||Might require Goldfish as the blue ingredient, but not yet sure. See if any other blue ingredients work.||Gobbo Seafood Quiche|
|“Me loves a good pie! Any kind of pie!”||Yellow + orange, or Yellow + blue||There are two kinds of “pie” foods in the game.||The Magnum Pizza or Gobbo Seafood Quiche|
|“A burger stinky or spicy!”||Blue + Red||The red ingredient must be either Stinky Fungi (the “stinky” clue) or Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms (the “spicy” clue).||Fishy ‘Shroom Burgers|
|“Slurpy ‘n’ soupy, with hollow bones for crunch!”||Orange + green||The green ingredient should be Eagle Talons or Winged Leather. The clue here is the “hollow bones” part. Birds have hollow bones so the clue applies to “eagles” and “wings.”||Misty Mountain Broth|
|“A dish wot got big bones so I can pick ma teef. Fishbones by demselves too weak! No pizzas!”||Green + blue||I’m not yet sure if this will work with any blue “fish” ingredient since the clue states that fishbones by themselves are too weak.||Bony Meat Skewers|
|“Sumfink with fishy chunks.”||Any secret recipe (requires three ingredients), but one of those ingredients has to be a blue one.||Fishy Chunks pertain to blue ingredients.||Fried Squirrel Fish or Ghost Grab Royale secret recipes|
|“Sumfink with sporez or ‘shroomz!”||Any secret recipe (requires three ingredients), but one of those ingredients has to be a red one.||Sporez ‘n’ Shroomz pertain to red ingredients.||Mork’s Blood Pudding secret recipe|
|“Sumfink with beast bits! A dish wot needs three fings in it!”||Any secret recipe (requires three ingredients), but one of those ingredients has to be an orange one.||Beast Bits pertain to orange ingredients.||Bugman’s Battered Ribs secret recipe|
|“Sumfink with flyin’ gubbinz! A dish wot needs three things in it!”||Any secret recipe (requires three ingredients), but one of those ingredients has to be a green one.||Flyin’ Gubbinz pertain to green ingredients.||Elven Foie Gras secret recipe|
|“Sumfink with mucky stuff! A dish wot needs three fings in it!”||Any secret recipe (requires three ingredients), but one of those ingredients has to be a yellow one.||Mucky Stuff pertains to yellow ingredients.||Mork’s Blood Pudding or Bugman’s Battered Ribs secret recipes.|
Note: If the Food Merchant gave you other challenges, let us know so we can add them here and complete the full list.
Big-time buffs for the Big Gobbo
Once you’ve unlocked the remaining ingredient slots, you can have multiple active buffs plus the boosts from the recipes themselves. You can see a specific example below with Elven Foie Grass. I used Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms (red), Lizard Legs (orange), and Eagle Talons (the third ingredient to make the secret recipe), plus Goldfish (a bonus for the fourth slot). I’ve got all the buffs from each ingredient and the bonuses from the recipe, allowing me to recruit high-tier units like Rogue Idols and Anachronok Spiders within two turns:
|Elven Foie Grass|
|Recipe Buff: +4 recruit rank for all units;
-2 turns global recruitment;
+50 unit experience gain per turn (faction-wide)
|Ingredient 1 (Red)||Hell Pepper ‘Shrooms||“Frenzy” passive for Goblin and Night Goblin units; +25% fire resistance|
|Ingredient 2 (Orange)||Lizard Legs||+15 armor and +8 leadership for Goblin cavalry, Goblin chariots, and Squig Herd units|
|Ingredient 3 (Secret)||Eagle Talons||“Eagle Sight” ammunition for Goblin and Night Goblin missile units; increased armor-piercing damage|
|Ingredient 4 (Bonus)||Goldfish||+10% income from all buildings; -1 global recruitment duration; +8 obedience (public order) in all provinces|