Anybody who has ever made Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patricks Day, has probably made Bubble and Squeak without really knowing it. Basically it's leftover corned beef mixed with leftover cabbage and potatoes. In our family, not only do we always have a corned beef in the freezer, we also always have canned corned beef in the pantry. And quite frequently leftover potatoes. So when life is busy, opening up a can of corned beef and making Bubble and Squeak will probably be a regular occurrence. Yes, I'm sure that using a fresh corned beef instead of canned would have made this taste even better, but time constraints and lack of planning (read remembering to take the dang corned beef out of the freezer) made me very glad for the canned stuff.
This recipe came from The Ploughman's Lunch and the Miser's Feast. It was a familiar dish to start my British Food fest for the Olympics. The name for the dish supposedly comes from the sound and appearance of the ingredients when they are put in a hot skillet. I have never heard food squeak when putting it in a hot pan. If it ever does, I'm probably not going to eat it.
This made a nice comforting dish as it was quick to make even though I made it from scratch since I didn't have leftover potatoes.
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK: Fried Cabbage, Potatoes and Corned Beef
(from The Ploughman's Lunch and the Miser's Feast)
4 quarts water, to cook the cabbage and potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to your taste, plus 1 tablespoon if cooking cabbage and potatoes
2 cups chopped potatoes, cooked or fresh
2 cups chopped cabbage, cooked or fresh
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups chopped cooked boiled or corned beef
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. If your potatoes and cabbage are not already cooked, bring the water and 1 tablespoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon, reserving the water and set aside. Repeat with the cabbage, but simmer it for only 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and cook it, stirring occasionally, until the edges begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the boiled cabbage and potato and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown too, about 20 minutes more.
4. Taste for salt. If the beef was salty enough, you won't need it; otherwise, add 1/2 teaspoon or to taste. Add the pepper and stir. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
NOTE from author: If you leave out the corned beef, you'll have Colcannon, a classic Irish vegetable side dish.
NOTE: Mr. L and I have actually made Colcannon before, it's actually very good.
NOTE: We didn't have any leftovers so we followed the directions to cook the potatoes and cabbage from scratch. I used Yukon Gold potatoes.
NOTE: I used just one can of canned corned beef (for those not aware of this product, you can find them near canned corned beef hash and they sell them in bulk packages at Costco). Canned corned beef doesn't crisp up like fresh corned beef will and seems moister, read fattier, than the fresh kind. Canned corned beef is one of those shelf stable cooked meat "emergency" products we tend to have on hand in our pantry.
NOTE: Quite frankly, I think amounts listed here are rough estimates. If you have leftovers, just throw them all in the pan, doesn't matter if you have more potatoes than usual or more cabbage etc.
Since we eat corned beef year round, Bubble and Squeak will be showing up at our table on a regular basis.