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Bubble and Squeak

Classic Meals

Any conglomerate of chopped, shallow-fried, left-overs from a previous day's meat dinner. Now most usually a dish, typically of potato and cabbage, fried into a browned patty.

"When 'midst the frying pan, in accents savage,
The beef, so surly, quarrels with the cabbage.'
from 'The Cook's Oracle' by William Kitchiner 1830

Bubble and Squeak
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Known at least since 1767 in T. Bridges 'Homer Travestie' (ed. 2) II. xi. 212 "We therefore cook'd him up a dish Of lean bull beef with cabbage fry'd,..Bubble they call this dish and squeak." (OED) and in the 1785 F. Grose's 'Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue' "Bubble and Squeak, beef and cabbage fried together." By the 1950's, the dish seems to have changed; the 'Good Housekeeping Home Encyclopedia' of 1951 has; "In the modern version of bubble and squeak the meat is usually omitted."

Bubble and Squeak
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Most earlier receipts, including Soyer 1845 and Mrs.B, include cooked meat from the Sunday joint.

Original Receipt in 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery' by 'A Lady' (Mrs. Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell) (Rundell 1807);

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK. Cut slices from a cold round of beef; let them be fried quickly until brown, and put them into a dish to keep hot. Clean the pan from the fat; put into it greens and carrots previously boiled and chopped small; add a little butter, pepper, and salt; make them very hot, and put them round the beef with a little gravy. Cold pork boiled is a better material for bubble-and-squeak than beef, which is always hard; in either case the slices should be very thin and lightly fried

Original Receipt from 'Modern Domesic Cookery' by Elizabeth Hammond (Hammond 1819)

Bubble and squeak.
Take some butter, pepper, salt, and cold cabbage, chop the whole together, and fry it; when done, lay on it some slices of underdone corned beef, fried of a fine brown colour.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

BUBBLE-AND-SQUEAK (Cold Meat Cookery).
616. INGREDIENTS: A few thin slices of cold boiled beef; butter, cabbage, 1 sliced onion, pepper and salt to taste.
Mode: Fry the slices of beef gently in a little butter, taking care not to dry them up. Lay them on a flat dish, and cover with fried greens. The greens may be prepared from cabbage sprouts or green savoys. They should be boiled till tender, well drained, minced, and placed, till quite hot, in a frying-pan, with butter, a sliced onion, and seasoning of pepper and salt. When the onion is done, it is ready to serve.
Time: Altogether,1/2 hour.
Average cost: exclusive of the cold beef, 3d.
Seasonable: at any time.


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