Bubble and squeak is an English dish that is traditionally served with breakfast, and was popularized during the Second World War. The dish consists of leftover vegetables and potatoes all mixed together and reheated in a frying pan, which was a great way to help the war effort and make rations last longer. It gets its name from the bubbling and squeaking sounds it makes as it is cooked.
The earliest known recipe for bubble and squeak is found in the Maria Rundell cookbook from 1808. The recipe book itself was the most popular of its time, and sold more than half a million copies in the U.K. and America, according to The Guardian.
Bubble and squeak's major ingredients are potatoes and cabbage, but the dish often includes other veggies – such as Brussels sprouts, peas, carrots – and chopped meat has become a common ingredient, although Maria Rundell version calls for it to be served over "raredone beef, lightly fried."
This dish is easy enough to prepare, as long as there are some leftover vegetables available, and many people who are working in other countries can make this meal to quell homesickness. Jamie Oliver, a Food Network chef, recommends that the recipe should be a bit more than half potatoes. The dish is simple, especially since the ingredients will likely already be cooked.
If you are starting from scratch, you will need to cook the potatoes and vegetables together in a pan for about 20 minutes. Then, heat some olive oil in a pan and throw the mixture right in there. Mash everything together so it forms a thick, veggie-pancake. Flip it in pieces and mash it back together until the whole thing is crispy and golden brown.
You can add in chunks of sausage, bacon or whatever meat you desire or you can serve them separately. Making this dish with leftovers can also be a good way for Brits to save some extra cash to wire money to their families back home.
A variation of the dish was even served at the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April. The bubble and squeak was wrapped around a confit shoulder of lamb to make it more elegant and royal wedding-appropriate.