Bubble and Squeak

Dr Kitchiner, writing in 1817, * gives a recipe for this which omits potato. He opens with the couplet:

When ‘midst the frying Pan in accents savage

The Beef, so surly, quarrels with the Cabbage.

This recipe is exactly the same as that given in the 1819 edition of A New System of Domestic Cookery by Mrs Rundell and in 1830 by Richard Dolby of the Thatched House Tavern. Mrs Beeton in 1861 adds an onion. However, almost all later recipes omit onion and include potato in the proportion given for colcannon. Bubble and squeak is fried in exactly the same way and is often served to accompany cold meat which is not reheated.


  • 16 slices of lean, cold, roast beef
  • 1 green cabbage, large enough for 4
  • 1 Onion or these may be omitted
  • 1 lb. (½ k.) cooked, mashed potato or these may be omitted


Lightly brown in butter neat slices of cold boiled or roast beef which have been lightly dusted in pepper. Keep hot, covered so that they will not harden. Meanwhile chop finely a green cabbage, boil it in very little water till tender; drain it well, pressing out all the water. If onion is used, lightly fry it in the pan in which you browned the beef, adding a little more butter if necessary. When soft add the cabbage and potato arid cook until it forms a cake. Turn the cake once, fry a little more and then serve on a flat dish with the beef round it and some good gravy.

* The Cook’s Oracle.