I made Bubble and Squeak the other day, and it comforted my soul. It comforted Brenda Johnsons’s soul, too, because I made up a plate for her to taste-test. Here’s my version of this British classic, along with the answer to your burning question: “What the heck is Bubble and Squeak?”
Bubble and Squeak is a collection of vegetables that are mashed and caramelized in a hot skillet. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the mixture “bubble and squeak” as it cooks. You can use any veggies you like, although potatoes and Brussels sprouts are traditional. For a nutritional boost, I always include sweet potatoes, leeks, and carrots in the mash.
For a satisfying meal, simply top the veggies with fried or poached eggs, leftover roast beef, or pork sausages. If you use sausages, as I do, you can roast them in the oven on a bed of mushrooms and onions. The mushrooms and onions will then become the base for a fabulous gravy.
Note: In the step-by-step recipe below, you’ll find plenty of…steps. But trust me — Bubble and Squeak is an easy dish. After you’ve made it a couple of times, you won’t need any recipe at all.
Here we go-go:
While the veggies are simmering, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Pop the pan into the preheated oven, and roast until the sausages are bronzed and thoroughly cooked (they should reach an internal temperature of 160°F ), and the mushrooms and onions have caramelized — 40-45 minutes.
While the sausages are roasting, drain the vegetables. You can reserve 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the cooking liquid for the gravy, or use chicken stock instead. The choice is entirely yours. Frankly, I prefer my own, homemade chicken stock.
Yes, I need to clean my oven.
Are you hungry?
Are you really, really, hungry?
Caramelized vegetables…bronzed, fragrant sausages…a mushroom gravy with a balsamic kick…there’s nothing that isn’t wonderful about this Bubble and Squeak. I hope you’ll try it some day. Hungry for more? Get my email updates.
Bubble and Squeak with Sausages and Mushroom Gravy
- A large pot for boiling the vegetables
- A skillet for mashing and caramelizing the vegetables
- A 9x13 or similar-sized roasting pan
For the vegetable mash:
- A mixture of chopped vegetables, such as boiling potatoes (i.e., 'Yukon Gold'), sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, leeks and carrots -- 2 1/2 pounds in total
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the sausage bed:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for brushing)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 12 ounces mushrooms, minced
- 4 or more fat pork sausages (sweet Italian sausage works well here)
For the gravy:
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (or more, to taste)
- 2 cups of the reserved vegetable water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch blended with 1/4 cup cold water
Boiling the vegetables:
- Put the chopped vegetables in a large pot, and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until all are tender -- 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid for the gravy.
- While the vegetables are simmering, center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Mashing the vegetables:
- Add the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a 12-inch-diameter skillet over medium meat. When the butter melts, add the drained vegetables and the salt and pepper. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Every 5 minutes or so, scoop up sections of the mash, and flip them over (a flat spatula is useful here), The mash, or "Bubble and Squeak," is done when it is crisp and caramelized -- about 20 minutes.
The sausage bed:
- (You can do this while the veggies are simmering.) Put 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the roasting pan. Put the pan in the oven until the butter melts -- about 3 minutes. Add the diced onions and minced mushrooms to the pan, and toss them with a spatula until are slick with the butter and oil. Arrange the sausages on top of the mushroom mixture. Brush the sausages with a little olive oil.
- Roast in the preheated 425°F until the sausages are cooked and deeply browned, and the mushrooms and onions are lightly caramelized -- 35-40 minutes.
Making the gravy:
- Transfer the cooked sausages to a warm plate. Then place the roasting pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the Balsamic vinegar and the reserved vegetable cooking liquid, and bring to a boil. Then add the cornstarch mixture, and stir until the sauce thickens -- about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Place a mound of the mashed vegetables on each plate. Top with 1 or 2 sausages and a generous spoonful of the gravy. Serve while hot, along with good ale or a robust red wine.