Sunday 26 December 2010

British Stuff Review: Bubble and Squeak

When you think of Christmas meal leftovers, you probably think of turkey sandwiches, but what about the rest of the food?  What can you do with the potatoes and vegetables that will just go soggy and icky if you attempt to reheat them in their current form?  

You need bubble and squeak!

Bubble and Squeak
This dish was developed during World War II as an easy way of using food items that were being rationed, and was often made once a week on Monday following the traditional Sunday roast dinner.  There is no one way to make bubble and squeak, but generally what you do is crush (don't mash all the way) the left over roast potatoes, chop the left over vegetables (and I suggest an onion too), mix it all together and put it in a frying pan.  Spread the mixture in the pan and push it down so it browns on one side.  Then flip it over and brown it on the other side, making sure it warms all the way through.  Voila!  You're done!  (You can also form little patties and fry them separately)  Its very similar to hash in America just with a much better name.  

To serve, some people suggest putting a fried egg on top, but I just put it with a bit of salad and call it good.

Supposedly the name comes from the sound it makes while it cooks, but I listened carefully when I cooked  it today and didn't hear anything.  The award for food that talks to you still goes to Rice Krispies.  Congratulations Snap, Crackle and Pop.  Better luck next time Bubble and Squeak. 

 Though not a dish which was ever meant to look pretty or impress the food critics, the Four Seasons London has (or had when the following article was written) this gourmet version if you want to jazz up this old favourite or are too cheap to buy previously unused ingredients at your next dinner party.  

But I suggest sticking to the regular version - its the perfect remedy for that post Christmas hangover (and your post Christmas wallet). 

British Stuffs Review:  5/5 Paddington Bears


  1. I LOVE this dish! Just tried it for the first time a few months ago. I had been curious as to its name...

    Happy New Year, Lady Liberty :)

  2. you won't get the squeak unless you use a big of cabbage...that's what squeaks.

  3. I thought it was older than WW2? Like at least Victorian- at least it featured heavily in the Anne Perry books, which seem otherwise to be pretty historically accurate...