Using up leftovers in a delicious Bubble and Squeak. Is there a best recipe?

Bubble and Squeak is a traditional British dish that uses leftovers from the British traditional Sunday roast meal.

Bubble and squeakConsequently it was usually served on the Monday. Bubble and Squeak is now a brilliant and tasty way to use up those leftovers in the fridge. But is there a “traditional” recipe for bubble and squeak?

There’s an abundance of different recipes for bubble and squeak on the internet – all claiming to be the traditional recipe. But the nature of bubble and squeak prevents the dish from having a definitive recipe because it’s made from whatever’s left over – which can vary depending on what people had for lunch on Sunday or what you have lying around in the fridge.

Your list of ingredients should include:

  • potatoes; mashed or boiled or both.
  • onions, red or white
  • seasoning; salt and pepper, garlic if you like
  • oil or butter or goose fat or duck fat or dripping
  • leftovers; cabbage, runner beans, beans, sprouts, carrots, peas, leeks, peppers, any other left over cooked vegetables you might have.
  • Leftover meat: it’s optional but any will do: Bacon, ham, chicken, pork, turkey, pheasant, fish, you name it.
  • Grated hard cheese – optional.

There’s no particular preparation method either!

Finely chop and fry onions until they soften. If you’re using uncooked bacon chop and fry that too.

Chop all your leftovers and put them into a mixing bowl together with your fried onion and mashed potato (if you’re using boiled potatoes, crush them into a mash). Mix it altogether with your seasoning and an optional nob of butter.

And there’s no particular method of cooking bubble & Squeak!

You can fry the mix in a frying pan for 15 – 20 minutes, turning regularly to prevent burning but you want the mix to catch a little on the heat until golden brown.

Or use your hands to shape the mixture into patties, dust them with flour and put them into the oven at 220 degrees. Brush on some melted butter to golden the top. Turn the patties over to brown both sides.

My favourite is to use an oven proof skillet or frying pan. Fry the veg and onion up together for a few minutes first. Then add the potatoes and fry them up a little longer. After a couple of minutes flatten everything down into the bottom of the pan and put it into the oven for another 10 minutes or until nicely brown. You can optionally make a crater in the middle and crack an egg into it to cook with the bubble and squeak or melt some cheese on top. A cheesy breadcrumb topping works really well if you’re using fish in this method of bubble and squeak.

The message here is that you can be as inventive or creative as you like with the previous meal’s leftovers. Besides squeezing another dinner from the previous day’s meal and saving money it can be tastier than the original meal!


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