In the UK, Bubble and Squeak is a familiar, home style dish. But to Americans, it sounds...well, weird. So a little explanation is necessary.
Back in the days when doing household laundry was a tremendous, all day affair - often taking up most of the kitchen - simple dinners were mandatory. Bubble and Squeak became a favorite on laundry day, using up leftovers and requiring little cooking time. And while it's true the name reminds me of a Victorian laundry wringer doing it's job, I've always read the name refers to the sound the dish makes while cooking. For years, however, my Bubble and Squeak never squeaked. Then I began using fresh from the garden, home grown cabbage. Now I know why the dish got it's name!
Anyway, Bubble and Squeak is another of those highly adaptable, cheap, easy dinners. I generally use ground beef, but you can also use leftover meat of any kind, as well as leftover mashed potatoes. (When I'm in a hurry and don't have leftover potatoes, I use boxed, dehydrated potatoes.)
What You Need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 small cabbage (or 1/2 of a large one), chopped
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano or marjoram
3 cups hamburger
2 or 3 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar or Co-Jack cheese
Large, oven proof skillet (cast iron is ideal!)
How to Do It:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If not using leftovers, cook the meat and prepare the mashed potatoes. Heat the oil in the oven proof skillet.
2. Add the onion to the skillet and saute until golden and soft. Add cabbage, salt, pepper, and oregano or marjoram. Reduce the heat and cook until the cabbage is wilted. This is when it will make it's infamous squeaking noise - if the cabbage is fresh enough.
3. Add the prepared meat and stir well, reheating the meat, if necessary.
4. Remove the skillet from the stove and sprinkle with a little cheese. Spread the potatoes over the top of the whole. Sprinkle again with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until heated through.