Epic bubble and squeak

Epic bubble and squeak

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
2
Photographer
Patricia Niven

Bubble and squeak is such a good place to put all the odds and ends of veg you’re left with at the end of the week, making it a classic staff lunch or supper in many restaurants. One particular chef I used to work with, called Paul, is the absolute king of bubble. For me, the trick lies in knowing when to turn the contents of the pan and when to leave them alone to get crisp, and he does this with precision, so that every bubble is a winner. Bubble with fried eggs and bacon is a great plan, but I’d also happily chow down on a plate of bubble and squeak with nothing more than some trusty tomato ketchup. I would counsel sticking with potatoes, root veg and greens when using up leftovers – and if you don’t have any remains, just peel and cut some potatoes and veg into chunks and simmer in salted water until cooked. Because this is quite a moveable feast, the quantities very much come down to what you have.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons sunflower or grapeseed oil
30g butter
1/2 onion, sliced
250g cooked potatoes – leftover mash is especially good
200g cooked root vegetables
100g cooked greens, roughly chopped, sprouts and sprout tops are my favourites
sea salt
black pepper
tomato ketchup, mustard or sriracha sauce, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, along with a pinch of salt, and let it soften and get a bit of colour for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and root veg, flattening them out to cover the whole pan, then leave them alone to get nicely brown and crisp for a good 5 minutes.
  2. At this point, use a fish slice or spatula to lift up a decent chunk of bubble and check if it’s brown underneath. If it is, flip it over and squash it down, then do this all over so you get pockets of brown crunchy base nestled into the soft middle part. Keep going with this for a good half an hour, leaving a decent amount of time between each flipping, so the bits on the base get really crisp – I can’t emphasize enough what a difference this will make to your bubble and squeak. When you are happy with the amount of crispiness versus softness, stir in the greens and keep stirring and mashing until they are hot.
  3. Spoon onto plates and serve with tomato ketchup, mustard or even sriracha sauce.
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