Thursday, 26 July 2007

Working Class Hero

The roast beef lunch left me with a whole host of vegetables for one of my favourite 5 minute dishes - bubble and squeak. It is a dish that I am sure people of a higher 'class' would put into the 'working class' category and snub with great disdain. I say unlucky. It is a true British classic. A working class hero.

Bubble and squeak, so named because it makes them very noises when cooking, was a dish that was served to me every single Monday evening when I came in from school. As a family that wasted nothing, what ever was left over from our Sunday roast was thrown together and fried up into a huge frying pan sized crispy vegetable cake.

I may have mentioned this before, but I was a fussy so and so as a child. Vegetables were not something I suffered gladly. No matter how many times my mam hid the turnip in the mashed potato, I always knew it was there. And as my mam stood for no nonsense, I often ate it with my fingers clamped firmly onto my nose. However, come bubble and squeak Monday, I would eat the very vegetables I hated once fried up nice and crispy with a dollop of sauce on the side. Weird.

Nowadays, I embellish my leftovers with a few ingredients to take it to another level. So in this bubble and squeak, I add a little wholegrain mustard and a strong Cheddar cheese. I also add a little of the chopped cold leftover meat if there is any left. A few finely chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley and sage and a fine coating of Parmesan and flour, they crisp up beautifully and make for a fine dish on its own. With one exception. There is one habit I can't resist still to this day and that is a good dollop of brown sauce on the side. Bubble and squeak Mondays - brilliant.

Bubble and Squeak

Any leftover vegetables - in mine were carrot, turnip, potato, broccoli, cauliflower cheese
Any leftover meat, chopped
Wholegrain mustard
Cheddar cheese, grated
Finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil and sage
Plain flour
Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1 - In a large bowl, mash all of the vegetables coarsely.
2 - Mix in a couple of tablespoons of mustard, a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar, seasoning and fresh herbs.
3 - Mix a little plain flour with grated Parmesan cheese and seasoning. Then form whatever sized bubble and squeaks and dip into the flour.
4 - Fry your bubble and squeaks in olive oil until golden and crispy. Serve with a dollop of your favourite sauce.


Joanna said...

I'm so interested that you think B&S is a class thing; I've always rather thought of it as generational - I was brought up by the generation that went through the war and didn't waste anything, so we - middle class to the core - ate bubble and squeak every week too, and I also loved it (tomato ketchup rather than brown sauce!). Still love it.

And love the sound of your embellishments, and wonder why on earth I haven't fancied it up with a ring and some cheese ... because everyone should eat this fantastic, classic English dish.

David Hall said...

Hi Joanna

Please don't think of me as a 'chip on your shoulder' Northerner. I spent a long time working in 'upper' circles in my previous job and was often sneered at when I mentioned the like of B&S, pease pudding, suet puddings etc. So I assume rather than know based on previous experience. Personally, I think food breaks down any 'class' barriers that may exist as inevitably, all of these so called 'peasant' foods (I say that with tongue firmly in cheek) end up on the menus of very expensive eateries and hence become trendy and cool to eat! Good to see you keep it real just like I do.


Celia Hart said...

I love B&S (Boxing Day wouldn't be the same without it - best if there are some sprouts & chestnuts in the mix). I never waste the leftovers. And it's definitely brown sauce for me!


David Hall said...

Hi Celia

It HAS to be brown sauce!! Yes, Boxing Day bubble and sqeak with left over turkey/goose/ham, chutney and cheese. And lots of port. Roll on Christmas!!!


Pat said...

I have only recently become a fan of B&S. We do a hash in the US with meat and potatoes. I really love the addition of the other vegetables. I too was brought up with never wasting anything.

Anonymous said...

That is a very good idea... Thank you for sharing.
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend! :)

David Hall said...

Hi Pat

I know all about your hashes, my brother lives in Baltimore, been over loads of times. Bubble and squeak goes in many guises it seems!


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

My best friend served me bubble and squeek with a fried egg for lunch on Friday. It was delicious!

Anonymous said...

We love B and S - except I know I would become even larger if I ate it more often.
But I prefer ketchup I'm afraid...
By the way, thank you so much for your veggie face - much appreciated and now joined by other friends!
Charlotte and Freddie

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