Bubble and squeak may well be a recipe we remember from many years ago but it fully deserves to be in the repertoire of all modern cooks. It's frugal, delicious and simple to make.
If there is a "true" bubble and squeak recipe then it's fried mashed potatoes and cabbage. And make no mistake, that simple recipe is a true delight. But why stop there! Add some cooked bacon, chopped sausages, other leftover vegetables, ham, leftover meat from the Sunday Roast or whatever else you fancy. This really is a design-it-yourself recipe with almost no chance of failure.
400g / 14oz left over cold mashed potato
Roughly 80g / 3oz cold cooked cabbage
1 tablespoon of butter (or oil)
6 rashers of streaky bacon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
The only preparation required is to tear the cabbage into small strips.
In these days of ever increasing food prices this is a recipe which makes full use of one of the commonest leftovers, potatoes. It turns them into a culinary delight at almost no cost at all.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG?
Not much really, you could burn the surface if cooked in too hot a pan. If so, simply scrape off the burnt surface and enjoy.
The real risk is that the it could all break up when you turn it in the frying pan. In the recipe below we suggest turning the bubble and squeak onto a plate which neatly gets round that possible failure. You could also not bother turning it and simply put it under the grill for a couple of minutes.
Note that, with the exception of potato, all the other ingredients are optional. The weights are for guidance only and will still give good results when varied.
Add the butter to a pan on a medium heat and allow it to melt. Then add the cabbage to the pan and fry for around six minutes until it just begins to colour. Turn the cabbage frequently during the frying.
If you are using streaky bacon then while the cabbage is cooking fry the bacon in another pan. When the bacon is cooked cut it into small pieces.STEP 2
On a plate, mix the potato, cooked cabbage and bacon together so they are all evenly distributed.
Add a dollop of oil to the pan (still on a medium heat) and then add the potato, cabbage and bacon mix. Firm it well down to the base of the pan. This will help it stay in one piece when you turn the bubble and squeak. Season with salt and pepper.
Fry for six minutes until the bubble and squeak is well-browned on the base.
Turn the bubble and squeak onto a plate (see the video above for an example) and then slide it back into the pan so that the cooked base is now on to the top. Fry for a further three minutes until the other side is also well-browned.
Serve onto a plate cutting into four slices. It's ideal as a starter, a snack or as a small main meal. Don't be afraid to experiment, any leftover meat can be added to the bubble and squeak mixture if it is cut into smallish pieces.