Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bubble & Squeak Cakes with Portabella & Porcini Ragu

It seems to me that a lot of people don't know what my blog's namesake, bubbles n squeaks refers to. Bubble n squeak is a traditional English dish that involved shallow frying leftover vegetables from a previous meal. My memory of it harks back to a boy scouts camp where they made a version of it that was basically bacon and potatoes. I was hooked, but i don't think i ever actually had bubble n squeak again!

So anyway, the blog name came from the philosophy of using odds and ends to create a delicious meal: ok, so i've deviated from that strategy. Sue me!

Although still not true to form, using leftovers, the following recipe omits the bacon and indeed the shallow fry to go for a healthier oven baked version. Unfortunately there's no substitute for the cream in the mushroom ragu!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Bubble & Squeak Cakes

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 large potatoes (about 500gm)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 350gm)
  • 200gm pumpkin
  • 1 turnip
  • 250gm white cabbage
  • 1 cup peas (i used frozen veg mix but peas are fine)
  •  1tbs olive oil
  • 40gm butter
  • salt
  • pepper

Portabella & Porcini Ragu

  • 500gm portabella mushrooms
  • 20gm dried porcini
  • 1/2 spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry


Bubble & Squeak Cakes

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Chop the potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip, turnip and carrot into 1-2cm cubes.

Toss lightly with the olive oil and transfer to single layer on baking tray/s.

Place in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.
Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl.
Mash coarsely.
Shred the cabbage finely. 

Melt butter over medium heat in a large frying pan.
Add the cabbage and peas and saute for 3 minutes or until cabbage wilts.

Mix the cabbage and peas through the mashed mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Leave to cool enough to handle and form into 6 cakes. Use a mould if you choose.

Turn oven temperature up to 220 degrees. 
Place the cakes on a baking tray and transfer to the oven for 1/2 hour or until beginning to crisp.
Transfer to serving plates when ready to eat.

Portabella & Porcini Ragu

Soak the dried porcini in warm water for 15 minutes or until soft.
Drain and chop coarsely.
Slice the portabellas into 2-3mm slices.

In a deep saucepan, melt the butter and oil over low-medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 15 minutes or until mushrooms are dark and very soft.

Add the stock and porcini and cook for a further 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the cream and sherry and bring to the boil.

Serve hot, around the bubble and squeak cake.


  1. Looks good! Love the mushroom side dish although I would love the fried version with lard perhaps! :)

  2. this looks so easy and so healthy to make! so thats what bubbles and squeaks is all about.

  3. Suresh: Thanks! Mmm i think you're right, the fried version would have given it some extra kick! Alas my dad has high cholesterol.

    Ann: Yes, the mystery of the bubbles n squeaks is solved! I guess this dish is very healthy and surprisingly filling! It reheated very well for lunch today too

  4. A delightful & superb dinner!! I so love these tasty veggie cakes & those dried porcinis surely add lots of flavour to the mushrooms!

    MMMMMMMM,...Many greetings from a fellow foodie fan from Brussels, Belgium!!!

  5. I love dried porcini! I wish they weren't so expensive though. Thanks for the comment Sophie!



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