Looking for a authentic recipe for Bubble And Squeak is impossible, it is a dish made up from what ever was left over from the weekend, and in particular, the Sunday Lunch. For a truly traditional and authentic Bubble & Squeak just open the fridge and see what’s in it. Bubble and Squeak is a recipe which is at least 200 years old; and the name Bubble & Squeak comes from the bubbling of the knob of butter when frying, and the squeak which comes from the noise it makes as it is being fried.
A traditional Sunday Lunch would often include many vegetable side dishes, such as boiled potatoes, cabbage, peas, swede, leeks, greens, and of course the main roast meat. Normally the meat would not be included in the bubble and squeak, more often it was served in slices with it the next day. To make Bubble & Squeak all the vegetable leftover side dishes would have been put into one bowl, covered (and in modern times then placed in the fridge) on the Sunday night after the meal. The next day everything in the bowl would have been mashed together, and made into patties, dusted in flour, and then fried off. Sometimes Bubble & Squeak was served as a breakfast, and sometimes it was part of the main meal on the Monday after work.
“A New Domestic Cookery”, by M. Rundel, published 1808
The earliest recipe comes from Maria Rundel in 1808 and her book ‘A New Domestic Cookery’.
Bubble and Squeak.
Boil, chop, and fry it, with a little butter, pepper, and salt, some cabbage, and lay on it slices of underdone beef, lightly fried.
Vegetables often included in a bubble & squeak: boiled potatoes (which is the main vegetable which binds everything) cabbage, peas, spring onions, leeks, onions, brussel sprouts, swede, carrot etc. etc. The reliable and classic recipe below uses spring onion and cabbage as the main vegetable, but feel free to substitute your own, or what’s left-over. To every 1Kg of floury potato mash add about 450g of cooked, roughly chopped, vegetables.
Bubble & Squeak Recipe
Use a floury potato for the mash. The potatoes and vegetables need to be very well drained and the potatoes roughly mashed. Do not add milk etc., if there is too much moisture then the bubble & squeak patties will break apart. If the bubble & squeak mixture is dry then fry them in a little oil (3mm deep), if the bubble & squeak mixture is a little wet then fry them off in a dry pan or on a griddle wiped with butter.
- 1 Kg potatoes
- 40g butter (melted) plus 40g
- 400g green cabbage (or kale)
- 10 large spring onions (or 2 leeks)
- 2 tbsp water
- 40g plain flour
- vegetable oil / butter for frying
- ground sea-salt and black pepper to season
- optional: a pinch of mustard powder or a tbsp of whole grain mustard
To serve (serve bubble & squeak with whatever you want)
- fried bacon, sausages, mushrooms & eggs
- slices of roast meat
Peel the potatoes and cut them into even-sized pieces, so that they will all cook at the same speed. Put a large saucepan, with salted water, (so it just covers the potatoes) on to a medium-high heat. Bring it up to the boil, once at the boil turn it down to a simmer, then add the potatoes. Put the lid on and cook them until tender, but still maintaining an integrity (12 to 15 minutes). Do not over-cook.
Clean and chop the spring onions into small pieces, both the green and white parts. Prepare the cabbage: remove the outer leaves and discarded, finely slice and cut up the inner leaves. Heat a large saucepan, until hot, and add 40g of butter – fry off the spring onions in the butter for three minutes. Then add two tablespoons of water, and then the sliced cabbage. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is just cooked through and wilted. Remove from the heat.
Drain the potatoes in a colander, empty the saucepan of water, and place the potatoes back in the pan. Place the pan on a low heat and briefly steam them dry. Take off the heat, add 40g of butter and mash the hot potatoes roughly with a potato masher, (do not be too fine about it) season to taste with a little ground sea-salt and black pepper, (optional: add the mustard if using) and then add in the cooked spring onion and the cooked cabbage (including the butter from the pan). Beat well together to mix. Put this aside to fully cool, and once cool place in the fridge for an hour.
Put some plain flour on a plate. Take a small handful of the bubble & squeak, shape into dense round patties and dust in flour both sides. Place each of the dusted patties on a tray. When they have all been made, and the bubble and squeak mixture has been used up, they need to be fried. If the bubble & squeak mixture is dry then fry them in a little oil (3mm deep), if the bubble & squeak mixture is a little wet then fry them off in a dry pan or on a griddle wiped with butter.
Serve. They go well for breakfast with fried bacon, sausages, mushrooms and eggs.