Read the title one more time. That’s right, there is actually a food dish called bubble and squeak. If you already knew about it, you are probably an anglophile or history buff.
In fact, bubble and squeak was created during the early 1700’s. The traditional meal of bubble and squeak was (and still is) a great way to use up leftovers. It was essentially all of the leftover vegetables from Sunday lunch, which is what made bubble and squeak a popular Monday meal. No one knows who exactly came up with the quirky name of this dish. However, some say it is because of the way it bubbles up and squeaks over an open fire while it cooks.
During the 17th century bubble and squeak was a typical Monday lunch or supper. It may have been topped with leftover meat or bacon from the day before or served with a fried egg on top, for a special treat. Most times, bubble and squeak was not made using a recipe. It was simply a way to use up the leftover food without throwing it out. Waste not, want not was the way people lived back then, and they dared not waste perfectly good food. That being said the recipe always will vary depending on what leftovers you have from the day before. Although, there is one ingredient that you absolutely have to have. Every bubble and squeak recipe must include mashed potatoes. It’s just not bubble and squeak without them. The mashed potatoes act as a binding ingredient and hold all the vegetables together. You may have heard of bubble and squeak before (or not), referred to as simply bubble or fry. A more common dish that is very similar to bubble and squeak is the Irish dish colcannon. Follow this simple recipe and learn how to make bubble and squeak with your leftover vegetables:
What You’ll Need
- 1 pound mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 8 tablespoons butter
- Finely chopped, leftover vegetables (kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, swede, carrots, peas, broccoli)
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make
- In a large skillet, melt your butter over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn or turn brown. You can use vegetable oil in place of the butter, but it definitely tastes better with butter.
- Once your butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Saute your onion for about two or three minutes. Your onions should be soft and appear translucent or see through.
- Before adding the mashed potatoes, turn the heat to medium-high. Add the vegetables of your choice and the mashed potatoes. Fry this mixture for at least ten minutes. Make sure you turn the mixture continuously and cover in the melted butter. This will allow the mashed potatoes and vegetables to heat evenly.
- Your goal is to get the outside of the edges a perfect brown without burning your bubble and squeak. To do this successfully, you need to frequently press the mixture down, allow it to brown and then continue stirring occasionally.
- Once your mixture is heated through, and evenly browned you need to press it. To do this, use your spatula and press the potato mixture into the pan for one to two minutes. Flip the mixture and press into the pan with your spatula for one to two minutes. This will seal your bubble and squeak and give it a slightly crispy outside.
- Serve your bubble and squeak immediately. You can serve it as a meal itself or dress it up with a poached or fried egg. This can also be served as a side dish. It pairs nicely with a roast, stew or soup.
Tips and Tricks
- Make bubble and squeak your own by adding your favorite vegetables.
- Instead of forming one large bubble and squeak dish, prepare the potato and vegetable mixture into hamburger-sized patties. These bubble and squeak cakes will go great with any meal or can be eaten by themselves.
- Spice it up and add some jalapenos, banana peppers or habanero peppers.
- Toss some shredded cheese into the potato mixture and top with sour cream, chives and bacon bits.