“At home, everyone enjoys a good bubble and squeak. Bit of cold beef, a few sprouts, and some spuds all mashed together and fried up in dripping, and you’ve got yourself a dandy dinner.”
Suzanne North, Flying Time
“It was definitely cold meat and bubble-and-squeak for Gaffer Ford and his family. Annie had had to see to the washing, which Nellie and Charlie had collected from a bagwash on their way home from school. It had all needed to be sorted out and hung on the yard lines. Still, the bubble-and-squeak, crisply browned, was a treat any Monday.”
Mary Jane Staples, On Mother Brown’s Doorstep
If you have been paying attention, gentle reader, you will have gathered that in the land of thrift, the British reign supreme. Nowhere is this more evident than in our refusal to let any food go to waste. Exhibit A: bubble and squeak, a national dish made up entirely of leftovers.
While the exact ingredients may vary slightly, a typical bubble and squeak would consist of vegetables left over from a Sunday roast dinner (potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, swede [rutabaga], cabbage, etc.). Traditionally, the veg would be cooked in dripping, or fat, sometimes with bits of leftover meat. These days, it is more likely to be a vegetarian dish, with the vegetables shallow fried in oil, while being mashed together until they combine to form a patty. The effect will be similar to hash browns, where the edges are a little crispy. Season simply, with salt and pepper.
The dish is so named because of the sounds the vegetables make as they are frying in the pan.
Bubble and squeak makes an excellent accompaniment to a full English breakfast. You can also eat it as a side with bangers and gravy.