Bubble and Squeak is one of many dishes that came from resourcefulness during times of need. It become popular during rationing in World War II. Stretching every piece of food became critical. After a Sunday roast with mashed potatoes and vegetables, Bubble and Squeak became the answer. It is basically leftover vegetables, usually cabbage or Brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes formed into a cake and pan fried crisp. The dish got its name from the sound it makes when the cake hits the hot oil in the pan.
It was first seen outside of the UK on the iconic show “Two Fat Ladies” that introduced British cooking to international audiences when it first aired on the BBC in the late 1990s. The unlikely hit featured two heavyset, aging ladies who delighted viewers with their disdain for healthy food and their politically incorrect banter.
English Bubble and Squeak – Vegetable and Mashed Potato Cake
- Large skillet
- 1 RECIPE 3 Irish Mashed Potatoes (or 1 lb store bought)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 18-20 Brussel sprouts, halved and core removed with "V" shaped slits on bottom. Cut if half lengthways.
- ½ Medium Onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup Flour
- ¼ cup Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Make any one of the recipes from Irish 3 Mashed Potatoes or purchase ready made. If too loose, add 1-2 tsp of flour to thicken.
- Melt butter in the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put ⅛ cup water and Brussel sprout halves into a partially sealed plastic freezer bag and microwave for 5 minutes. Drain sprouts and add to onions in skillet. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add onions and sprouts to the bowl with mashed potatoes and thoroughly combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Make a flat cake the size of the skillet or form into 8 small cakes. Dredge one side of big cake or both sides of patties in flour.Heat oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When shimmering put cake (floured side down) or patties in oil and fry about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle top of large cake with flour before flipping to finish.
- Cooked Bubble and Squeak can be refrigerated and crisped-up in the oven later.
- If your not feeling the Brussel sprouts, make dish with just the onion.