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Food! Bubble and Squeak, Bubble and What? How to make Colcannon (Ireland), Rumbledethumps(Scotland) Breakfast Dish!

Updated on February 25, 2011

Luscious Leftovers

Colcannon the Irish version
Colcannon the Irish version
Colcannon showing Main Ingredients
Colcannon showing Main Ingredients
Rather nicely made Bubble and Squeak Patties
Rather nicely made Bubble and Squeak Patties
Humble Bubble and Squeak
Humble Bubble and Squeak
lovely, hearty Savoy Cabbage...One Constituent of Bubble and Squeak
lovely, hearty Savoy Cabbage...One Constituent of Bubble and Squeak
Peep inside Colcannon and showing the nice addition of a fried egg making a satisfying meal.
Peep inside Colcannon and showing the nice addition of a fried egg making a satisfying meal.

Rumbledethumps

The British are a thrifty lot at heart, and there is nothing wrong with thrift in these sad economic times. Bubble and Squeak is a dish that I was brought up with. Potatoes and cabbage left over after Sunday lunch were mashed together and fried in dripping from the Sunday joint. The whole family loved it and we made sure that there were enough potatoes and cabbage prepared on Sunday for Bubble and Squeak on Monday. It is a dish that is popular throughout the British Isles as a similar dish is called Colcannon in Ireland and Rumbledethumps, yes really!, in Scotland and the Borders. In fact the Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown named Rumbledethumps his favorite dish when asked to contribute to a charity cook book in January 2009.

The recipe for this concoction is very simple and very forgiving as it lends itself to the addition of so many other left over vegetables. In fact many people make it from scratch as it is quite delicious. Fried in Olive oil it becomes a very acceptable vegetarian dish, although the original recipe used to incorporate meat scraps. It has been part of British cuisine since early times.

Many people incorporate it into the great British breakfast but it makes a hearty addition to any meal. Traditionally it was served with cold cuts from the Sunday joint to make an easy meal on Monday the traditional washing day. All this has gone out of the window these days, most people can no longer afford a Sunday Joint, (leg of lamb, pork loin, sirloin of beef) like we used to enjoy in my childhood. If you visit Britain, though, most pubs serve a good old fashioned Sunday roast.

Ingredients for Bubble and Squeak, Colcannon or Rumbledethumps

Boiled cabbage

boiled potatoes

onion (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

olive oil, butter or dripping for frying

Any other cooked vegetables you have left over you wish to incorporate

Fresh cream (optional)


Gently fry the onion in a large skillet until soft. Chop up the cold cabbage. Mash the potatoes and any other vegetables you wish to incorporate in a mixing bowl. Mix in the chopped cabbage,season to taste. Add a dollop of cream if you are feeling indulgent! Turn up the heat and place the mixture on top of the onions, adding more oil or dripping if necessary. Form into a cake and fry on both sides to a satisfying brown, If you prefer, the mixture may be cooked in a dish in the oven which is the more usual method with Colcannon, but the frying method is more tasty.

Serve on its own or as a side dish for a main meal. Enjoy!

The Last Word!.........

The Bubble and Squeak Cafe,.....  An homage to this Tasty Dish...... All photographs courtesy Flickr
The Bubble and Squeak Cafe,..... An homage to this Tasty Dish...... All photographs courtesy Flickr

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    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Potatohead Just reading your comment made me hungry, simple things can't be beat! Thanks for the visit!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi It's just me, brussels sprouts would be great too. Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      Potatohead 7 years ago

      I'm Scottish and grew up with rumbledethumps. It's not quite like bubble and squeak, though, at least as my mum (and hers) always made it (and I do now.) For a start, they didn't mix the potatoes and cabbage together, they layered them, then topped with cheese and baked until the cheese was bubbling. Yum. Also delicious made with kale instead of cabbage.

    • It's just me profile image

      It's just me 8 years ago from Alaska

      I should make this for my kids sometime when I was a girl my Mother used brusselsprouts instead of cabbage.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Joy, So glad you tried this simple but satisfying supper dish and it sounds as if every one enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      There! I finally got around to trying this dish. It made for an extremely quick and wholesome supper, as I already had cooked potatoes on hand, and everyone in the family had three or more helpings.

      Thanks so much for these food hubs. They are very inspiring.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Good for you, Silver Rose. I'm trying to revive these good old recipes I was raised on. Have you checked out the others? Thanks for the comment

    • Silver Rose profile image

      Silver Rose 8 years ago from UK

      I remember Bubble and Squeak from my childhood! But it's been years and years since I've eaten it. It's one of those dishes that are sort of dying out (or would do if it weren't for hubs like this reminding us). I might just go fetch the ingredients to make some for tomorrow's lunch.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Welcome, chandanakumarci, thanks for your comment. It is great!

    • chandanakumarct profile image

      chandanakumarct 8 years ago from Bangalore

      Wow Sounds great. Wanna to taste it.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Not just their names, FP!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      The British sure are inventive with their names! :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Kushal, Thanks

    • Kushal Poddar profile image

      Kushal Poddar 8 years ago from Kolkata,India

      Enjoyed

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hey RV its easy to make and quite delicious, give it a go! Thanks for the comment

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 8 years ago from Athens, GA

      I have to get some of that!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Glad to be of assistance,m Jerrilee, Bon appetit

    • profile image

      gypsy willow 8 years ago

      You are in, Raven King. Thanks for the comment

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Well, I'm glad I took the time to read this hub. Now I know what we are having for dinner. Thanks!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 8 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Yummy! Sounds good for you and me. Count me in.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Loved it. Didn't you?

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

      Bubble and squeak on mondays, always in our house!!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Irohner, It lends itself to lots of tasty additions doesn't it? Thanks for the comment

    • lrohner profile image

      lrohner 8 years ago from USA

      Great hub! I grew up eating Colcannon (an Irish dish), although we always tossed ham in it, sometime sausages. Never heard of the other two though.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Joy I'm sure you will enjoy your cabbage very much cooked this way. Thanks for the comment

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      I must confess I've never heard of this one. All the same, I'll be trying it soon. I'm glad I planted savoy cabbages...though this wasn't the use I was thinking of for them!

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