Bubble and Squeak

October 31st, 2013

I created this quintessential version of British pub fare out of necessity.  I had leftover mashed potatoes and a half of a head of Savoy cabbage just waiting in the crisper.  The British dish of bubble and squeak is said to have been named after the sounds that the potato and cabbage mixture makes as it sautes.  Our trip to England a few years ago was an impressive experience on many levels.  But the food was not one of them.   However there are many dishes that the British do well.  I love Jamie Oliver’s Steak and Guinness Pie that I blogged about here.  I did a French version of Shepherd’s pie on this post.  Bangers and Mash are right up my alley.  And now I can wholeheartedly recommend Bubble and Squeak.

What is not to love about buttery mashed potatoes paired with sauteed cabbage.  If you leave it in the skillet for a while it will develop a nice brown crisp exterior.  I did not cook my mixture to a crisp, but loved the way that it is easy to mold it into a round disc of goodness.  The cabbage lightens the potatoes without being intrusive.  As a matter of fact, I would call this a perfect marriage of ingredients.

This went particularly well with the pork roast I had made.  British food may not be my favorite cuisine, but you have to give them credit for their imaginative food names.  How many of the following can you identify:  Sussex heavies, brewis, covach, water souchy, buckings, solloghan, whipped syllabub, oon, rumbledethumps, inky pinky, baps, haggamuggie, snoodie, clod, claggaum fadge, blaaad, curlie-murlies, or fairy butter?  For now, I am sticking to bubble and squeak.

So bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  Happy Halloween everyone.  The above picture was taken at a recent visit to Replacements LTD, a wonderful warehouse and showroom for your favorite china patterns and more.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK (Adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 pound Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil, then boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake.

Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes.

Printable recipe

13 responses to “Bubble and Squeak”

  1. Sam Hoffer says:

    What a clever way to use left-over cabbage, which I always seem to have. I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten bubble & squeak. That’s about to change!
    Happy Halloween Penny,

  2. Mary Sullivan says:

    ….and don’t forget the knickerbocker glory, spotted Dick, angels on horseback and Tiddie Oggies!
    A whole new language from the British kitchen!
    Yes, our cooking suffered bad press for years but is better now IF one knows where to eat out. Definitely good in the home now that such wonderful products are available from across Europe – such as the best cheese and dairy products selection ever. e.g. Gooseberry & Elderflower or rhubarb yogurts – can’t get them around here!

    I grew up on a lot of Mum’s Bubble & Squeak and loved it. I make it when I have leftover potatoes – and always add Savoy cabbage which is the best kind. Lovely pics of a simple but comforting food.

    Happy day Penny dear.
    Mary X

  3. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    It sounds great. Reminds me of Colcannon! I have never heard of any of those names,lol But the fairy butter sounds good!

  4. Larry says:

    I enjoy cabbage and taters together and I like the molded presentation. Now I’m off to find out what those dishes are.

  5. Chris says:

    This is one that I haven’t had, for sure, but it sounds pretty good to me.

  6. Pam Thurow says:

    It looks delicious! I’ve made it many times, but with small potatoes and cabbage boiled together then drain and brown in the skillet the sausage links were cooked in. Always thought the sausage as it sizzles was the “squeak.” Guess there are many versions, and all good!

  7. Susan says:

    You got me at Replacement, Ltd. I have had contact with them recently asking if they would be interested in buying my grandmother’s wedding china go back to 1906. Unfortunately, it is not a pattern they need right now. But, my thoughts were if they wanted to buy it from me, I would drive up there instead of mailing it. Good to know you have been there.

  8. Jane says:

    This sounds SO good and I am definitely going to make it, with a pork roast as you have suggested. I agree with you on British cuisine, but only based on what I’ve heard as I have never been. The names of the dishes are quite interesting though. I’m also going to have a look at the other recipes you mentioned.

    I’d love to visit Replacements. Is it in the Asheville area? Al and I are looking forward to a visit as soon as he’s up to it.


    • Penny Klett says:

      Hi Jane, Replacements LTD is about 3 hours east of Asheville near Greensboro. We stop there when we are on our way to visit the kids. It is an amazing place.

  9. Jane says:

    Penny, me again. I was just looking at the recipe for the French Shepherd’s Pie. Did you serve this as an entree or a side dish. I would love to make it for company.


  10. Cathy at Wives with Knives says:

    This is one of my favorite side dishes. Sometimes I add a little chopped bacon to it.

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