Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bubble and Squeak – Quintessential Comfort Food

Didn’t make corned beef and cabbage this year - cutting down on sodium. In fact, processed meat of any kind is a rarity these days, gone from having been a much enjoyed lunch staple. Ya gotta have a good pastrami sandwich once in a while! In this corned beef time of the year, I fondly remember some tasty Reubens from our past…sour kraut, Thousand Island dressing…yum. How could we get a similar comfort food experience but a little healthier, I pondered as I stared longingly at the corned beef? The cabbage WAS on sale? Bubble and Squeak came to mind. I had discovered it once while typing into Google some ingredients I had on hand to see what recipes would come up.

With a nod to you Downton Abbey fans, Bubble and Squeak is an English dish, basically a term for how to use up leftovers. Some recipes incorporate other vegetables and some include ham. Good ole green cabbage and Russet potatoes are used. In my version I’ve livened it up by using a fancier onion and bacon to give it a sweet richness.

The dish is fried and the trick is to let the bottom brown while the flavors meld. Depending on the frying pan you use (I used my electric Faberware), you can turn it out onto a plate with the browned side on top. This is quintessential comfort food; its only downside is you’ll want to eat too much. We were able to enjoy a bacony flavor throughout while eating much less salty meat.



1 small head of green cabbage, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 Slices of thick bacon (butcher cut ideal)
4 medium Russet potatoes, boiled
1 generous Tablespoon butter - per serving (I used unsalted)
Salt and Pepper to taste (I use the 50% salt product and it requires less because of the saltiness of the bacon)

Suggestions to serve on the side: Sour Cream and for an International flare, some pico de gallo for a tang.


Put water on to boil for the potatoes. Chop the cabbage into 1” chunks. Chop the onion.  Chop the bacon into ¼ chunks. Peel and cut up the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes until fork goes through easily. Remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon into a bowl and immediately submerge the chopped cabbage in the water, cover letting it steep. When the potatoes cool a bit, rough mash them or crush them with your hand. 

While potatoes boil, fry the bacon strips till medium, not super crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a dish, not on a paper towel. Fry the chopped onion med. low in the bacon grease until soft.  Drain the cabbage, now soft.

Add the potatoes, cabbage and bacon to the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well with a pancake turner leaving the potatoes rough chopped. When mixed well pat it down until flat, place the lid on the frying pan and continue heating until the bottom browns a bit.

Serve with a Tablespoon of butter melted on top each serving.