Christmas Leftovers: A Luxurious Bubble & Squeak Recipe From Riverford

Christmas Leftovers: A Luxurious Bubble & Squeak Recipe From Riverford

The run up to Christmas always means we order much more food than we actually need. Result. A mountain of food prime for leftovers. If I’m absolutely honest I prefer the Christmas leftover meals to the heaving table on the 25th. Personal favourites include sprout, ham, and chestnut soup, turkey curry and of course turkey fricassee, this year made and sent up in a “Red Cross” parcel to our rather ill house by our darling sister-in-law Ginny and expedited so wonderfully by my rather fabulous Brother-In-Law David.

Of course the daddy of all left over meals after Christmas is Bubble and Squeak. I was astonished that my wife had never heard of this British institution when I mentioned it a few weeks before Christmas and promptly served her up a pimped up version with chestnuts and pancetta accompanied of course by perfectly cooked fried egg. She loved it. For those unfamiliar with this iconic leftover dish it’s simply left overs from roast dinner or in today’s case Christmas lunch. The list of ingredients are not exhaustive but traditionally consist of sprouts or cabbage, roast potatoes and any other left over vegetables. Everything is mashed and seasoned the fried in a pan in butter.
The name bubble and squeak comes from the noise the food makes in the pan. The earliest known recipe dates from the earliest 1800’s and used to include meat. I like to add crispy bacon or pancetta to mine and today this humble dish is elevated to even dizzier heights by the great people at Riverford. Just look at this wonderful lunch or supper. This is just one of the most amazing leftover recipes that can be found on Riverford website under the recipe section This Christmas Riverford have produced a great free downloadable Christmas veg recipe book which is packed full of ideas and inspiration over the festive season. Remember, Christmas doesn’t end till 12th night on January 6th so there’s still plenty of time to go to town with some of the season’s best. You can download your free recipe book here 
Now back to this rather luxurious-sounding Riverford Bubble & Squeak recipe
Bubble & Squeak with Ham, Poached Egg & Mustard Hollandaise

serves 4, prep 15 mins, cook 15 mins (not including the potato/sprouts cooking)

The easiest way to cook lots of poached eggs is to cook them one by one, then transfer them when cooked into a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking. You can reheat them gently in hot water before serving.

  • 1 large leek or 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • butter or oil for frying
  • 400g floury potatoes, cooked & mashed (leftover potatoes if you like)
  • 200g brussels sprouts, cooked & thinly sliced (leftover sprouts if you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • white wine vinegar
  • 4 slices ham

for the hollandaise:

  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 250g melted unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon


Cook the leek on a low heat in a knob of butter or splash of oil, stirring now and then, until softened. Mix with the potatoes and sprouts, season well, then form into 8 balls and flatten slightly into small patty/burger shapes. Melt a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan. Fry until golden on both sides (in batches if you need to). Keep them warm in a low oven while you poach the eggs and make the hollandaise. Bring a large pan of water to a gentle rolling boil, add a splash of white wine vinegar and swirl into a whirlpool with a spoon. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then tip it into the pan. Cook for 2½ mins (see tip above for poaching more than one egg). Keep the water in the pan hot for reheating the eggs. To make the hollandaise, put the egg yolks and a splash of white wine vinegar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Whisk constantly until voluminous. Gradually pour in the melted butter, whisking constantly, to make a smooth sauce (you may not need all the butter). Stir in the mustard, a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste. Reheat the eggs in the hot water, then serve 2 cakes each with a slice of ham and a poached egg. Drizzle over some hollandaise.

bubble & squeak with ham, poached egg & mustard hollandaise

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